Taliban ready to negotiate after planned release of 400 prisoners

The Taliban said on Monday that they were ready to take part in peace talks with the Afghan government “within a week after” the planned release of 400 prisoners.

The Taliban confirmed on Monday (August 10) that it was ready to take part in peace talks with the Afghan government “the week after” the planned release of 400 Taliban prisoners.

“Our position is clear. If the prisoners are released, we will be ready for talks between Afghans in the coming week,” Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told AFP, adding that the first round of talks would take place. and Doha.

A large Afghan assembly, made up of thousands of dignitaries, civil servants and tribal leaders, has just accepted the principle of the release of 400 Taliban prisoners accused of serious crimes, removing an obstacle to opening negotiations.

“The Afghan government will begin releasing 400 Taliban prisoners within two days,” National Security Council spokesman Javid Fasial told AFP.

Suhail Shaheen said the Taliban delegation would be led by Abbas Stanekzai, the Taliban’s chief negotiator, in talks with Washington ahead of the agreement signed in February.

Almost 5,000 prisoners have already been released

The release of prisoners was a key point in this historic agreement between Washington and the Taliban on the withdrawal of US troops in mid-2021 in exchange for a Taliban commitment to open negotiations between Afghanistan.

“We are in the process of starting peace talks,” Abdullah Abdullah, the head of government in charge of the talks, said on Sunday.

“Inter-Afghan talks should begin two or three days after the release of the 400 Taliban prisoners,” said former President Hamid Karzai (2001-2014).

Kabul has already released nearly 5,000 Taliban prisoners, but Afghan authorities have so far refused to release the remaining 400 prisoners claimed by the rebels.

Some are actually involved in deadly attacks that kill Afghans and foreigners, including several French.

With AFP