The Taliban are denying reports their leaders have met with a U.N. official to discuss prospects for peace in Afghanistan.
The Taliban issued a statement Saturday saying the reports of them meeting with Kai Eide, the U.N. representative for Afghanistan, were baseless "rumors."
The militants' statement said their refusal to negotiate peace had ensured the failure of this week's international conference in London on stabilizing Afghanistan.
An unidentified U.N. official attending the conference said Thursday the Taliban had met secretly with Eide about the possibility of beginning peace talks with the government.
The official said the meeting took place January 8 in Dubai and was held at the militants' request.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.