Afghanistan: Taliban ask diplomats to leave
By AAMIR SHAH ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- The Taliban ruling militia once again refused to shift its stand on the detained aid workers Thursday and asked Western diplomats to leave Kabul. Taliban officials adhered to their position that they won't allow the diplomats to meet with eight foreigners jailed for allegedly preaching Christianity. They include two Americans, two Australians and four Germans, all from German-based Shelter Now. Alastar Adams, an Australian diplomat, said Taliban authorities told the diplomats to observe the investigation from Islamabad. "We have been advised to be patient and that any sign of persistence and pursuing or trying to hurry the investigation may be counter-productive," Adams said. David Donahue, a U.S. diplomat, said the Taliban's stand was "unacceptable." He said the envoys were again shown the alleged evidence against the foreigners, such as confiscated Bibles and computer disks. "We are not interested in this," he said. "We want to know about the investigation process and our visit." The diplomats turned over to Taliban authorities some supplies for the detained workers, such as mail and edible items. Pakistan officials said they are not getting involved in the matter of the detained foreigners. "We hope that this situation is amicably resolved," said Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman Raiz Ahmed Khan. "Diplomatic relations that we have with the Afghan government do not mean that we act as an intermediary between Afghan government and any third party."
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