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Kabul begins release of final 400 Taliban, talks to follow

By: AP | Kabul |

Revealed: August 14, 2020 5:49:51 pm

Taliban officers, talking on situation of anonymity mentioned 86 prisoners had been freed. (Reuters) (Representational)

Afghanistan has launched the primary 80 of a remaining 400 Taliban prisoners, paving the best way for negotiations between the warring sides in Afghanistan’s protracted battle, the federal government mentioned Friday.

Javid Faisal, spokesman for the Nationwide Safety Council’s workplace, made the announcement.

Taliban officers, talking on situation of anonymity as a result of they aren’t authorised to talk to the media, mentioned 86 prisoners had been freed. It wasn’t instantly recognized when the remaining prisoners can be freed.

Prisoner releases on each side are a part of an settlement signed in February between the US and Taliban. It requires the discharge of 5,000 Taliban held by the federal government and 1,000 authorities and army personnel held by the rebel group as a great will gesture forward of intra-Afghan negotiations.

Talks are anticipated to be held in Qatar the place the Taliban preserve a political workplace. A number of Afghan leaders advised The Related Press talks might start by August 20.

These negotiations are to put out a framework for a post-war Afghanistan. Washington’s peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad spent a year-and-a-half negotiating the peace deal aimed toward permitting American troops to return house and finish America’s longest army engagement.

US troops have already begun leaving and by November lower than 5,000 troops are anticipated to nonetheless be in Afghanistan down from practically 13,000 when the settlement was signed Feb. 29.

American and NATO troop withdrawal is contingent on the Taliban holding their dedication to not permit militant teams to make use of Afghanistan in opposition to the USA or its allies. The withdrawal just isn’t tied to profitable talks between the warring sides.

Final weekend, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani held a standard council assembly often known as loya jirga to get a consensus on the discharge of a remaining 400 Taliban he mentioned had been accused of significant crimes, saying with out clarification that he couldn’t unilaterally resolve to launch them.

Among the 400 have been implicated in devastating bombings in Kabul. Throughout a televised discuss on Thursday with the US-based Council of Overseas Relations, Ghani warned of risks they might current to lasting peace in Afghanistan.

However for some in Afghanistan the talks with the Taliban mirror earlier negotiations with different insurgents, together with warlord and US-designated terrorist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who many say has a status for violence that exceeds the Taliban.

In 2016, Ghani negotiated a peace take care of Hekmatyar, whose Hezb-e-Islami group took accountability for a number of bombings in Kabul, together with one at a grocery story within the capital that killed a younger household.

The deal included eradicating Hekmatyar from the UN terrorist record. His group was additionally accountable for a 2008 assault on French troopers, the most important worldwide loss in a single battle in Afghanistan.

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