UAE cuts ties with Taliban

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The Independent Online

The United Arab Emirates cut diplomatic relations with the Taliban government today, the official Emirates News Agency reported.

The move means the Taliban is recognized as the Afghan government by only two nations.

The agency quoted an unidentified Foreign Ministry official as saying that the Emirates had tried during the past few days to persuade the Taliban to comply with the UN Security Council resolution and hand over Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in last week's terror attacks in New York and Washington.

The official expressed regret that the Taliban had failed to respond positively.

"The United Arab Emirates does not believe that it is possible to continue to maintain diplomatic relations with a government that refuses to respond to the clear will of the international community," the official said.

The decision to cut relations takes immediate effect, the agency reported.

The UAE decision means that the Taliban is now recognized by only Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Pakistan said today it had no plans to review its recognition of the regime

Other countries recognize the government-in-exile of President Burhanuddin Rabbani.