KABUL - Secret peace talks between the United States and the Taliban leadership have been ruined after details of the talks were unmasked, The Daily Telegraph learnt from Western officials.
The Washington Post paper and Der Spiegel news magazine leaked details of the talks with naming Tayeb Agha as the key negotiator of the Taliban.
Confidentiality was the key condition for the meetings that took place between the Taliban leadership and senior US officials from State Department and Central Intelligence Agency in Germany and Qatar for several times.
Michael Steiner, Germany's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan were chairing the meetings. Sources close to the talks has said that the talks were at preliminary stages aimed at agreeing a series of confidence-building measures to persuade the Taliban that the United States and its allies are serious about a negotiated settlement.
The Taliban leaders were extremely nervous about stepping in talks because of the ideology Taliban commanders bear that the Americans were only seeking dialogue to divide their movement.
Since then, Tayeb Agha has not been seen and American officials have not been able to contact him through intermediaries in Quetta and Peshawar in Pakistan, the sources said. "The talks were a big deal, the real thing. I hope people will learn the lesson on the importance of confidentiality in the early stages.
People in the US are horrified about what has happened," said one source close to the talks to The Daily Telegraph.