The Taliban are holding secret unofficial talks at an undisclosed location in the Maldives, officials said today.
The government of Maldives, a tiny island nation in the India Ocean, issued a statement confirming the meeting.
"We cannot disclose the location of the talks, although we can confirm that they are not being held in Male or other population centres," the statement said.
Male is the nation's capital and one of the world's most densely populated cities. The secret meeting could be underway on one of the nearly 1,200 islands that create this archipelago off the southern tip of India.
What is also not clear is who the Taliban are talking to.
The Maldivian government denies any involvement in the talks, but admitted Maldivian security and intelligence agencies are aware of the meeting. The government said none of the representatives are on "UN or other international travel blacklists."
"Afghanistan's stability affects the peace and security of our region. The government of Maldives supports efforts to bring a resolution to the conflict in Afghanistan," the statement said.
The Afghan government denies that it is participating in negotiations with the Taliban at a mysterious Maldives location.
"We aren't involved in these talks," said Sediqi Sedeqi, the deputy director of the government media center in Kabul, Afghanistan.
U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said, "The Afghan government has told us that it is aware of the unofficial talks being reported today... and according to the Afghan government these talks do not include official representatives of the government of Afghanistan."
Crowley refused to say whether the U.S. approved of the contacts with the Taliban. "The real question is what comes out of this," he said.
He also made clear that the U.S. was not involved in the talks.
"The real issue is from meetings like this... what are particular groups prepared to do? That's what we will focus on," Crowley said.
The Afghan administration of President Hamid Karzai has made it clear that he would like to negotiate with the Taliban, while the Obama administration has been cool to the idea. The Americans have encouraged mid- and lower-level members of the Taliban to defect, but have been openly skeptical that the top leadership of the militant movement would be willing to lay down arms.
The subject of negotiations with the Taliban was one of the prime topics discussed when Karzai met with Obama earlier this month in the White House.
The U.S. is hoping that a summer offensive to secure the southern city of Kandahar and its surrounding towns, which is the heartland of the Taliban, will strengthen the Afghan government's hand in any negotiations.
ABC News' Aleem Agha contributed to this report