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Former Martin advisor expelled from Afghanistan over Taliban talks

A WikiLeaks cable reveals that a former advisor to Micheál Martin was expelled over accusations he held talks with militants.

Micheál Martin retained Michael Semple as an advisor despite his expulsion from Afghanistan.
Micheál Martin retained Michael Semple as an advisor despite his expulsion from Afghanistan.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

A FORMER EU delegation leader was employed as an advisor to the then Foreign Affairs minister Micheál Martin – despite being expelled from Afghanistan over accusations he held direct talks with the Taliban.

Afghani president Hamid Karzai claimed that Michael Semple had held unauthorised meetings with the country’s former ruling militia – and ejected him from the country in December 2007.

The claim is contained in a US embassy cable obtained by WikiLeaks and published today by the Irish Independent.

But Semple, who had been living in the Middle East for almost two decades and who was the acting head of the EU’s mission to Afghanistan at the time, was retained as a ministerial advisor to the now Fianna Fáil leader because he was considered well-versed in the politics of the region.

The UN had objected to Semple’s ejection from Afghanistan, saying it was a “misunderstanding”. Semple is now a fellow at the Carr Centre for Human Rights at Harvard University.

Read more on WikiLeaks in today’s Irish Independent >

Government had no clear plan to salvage the economy >

How the US saw the Fianna Fáil leadership >

Our previous coverage of Irish cables:

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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