Afghan government officials and Taliban representatives have denied any connections to peace negotiations Afghan opposition figures were reportedly holding in Maldives, the New York Times says. The government confirmed that some 20 delegates including several Afghan parliamentary members and former Taliban members will be participating in the talks to discuss how the war in the country can be ended. The government welcomed the initiative but said it will not participate in the talks, adding that such discussions should be held inside Afghanistan. The Taliban said news about the Maldives negotiations is “baseless.” Meanwhile, the start of the Afghan peace jirga has been moved from May 29 to June 2. The jirga is a traditional gathering of the Afghan elders and officials to discuss the country’s peace process.