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Afghan officials discuss peace prospects in first video conference with Taliban

AT News

KABUL: After a longtime dispute between government and Taliban over the prisoner release and beginning of intra-Afghan talks, the government’s communication team of peace negotiation has held a video conference with the Taliban’s political officials.

The meeting occurred on Sunday night with the presence of US and Qatar representatives. The Nation Security Council in a statement said that different dimensions were discussed during the two hour conference.

NSC’s Spokesman Jawid Faisal said, “The issue of reduction in violence, ceasefire, direct-Afghan talks and technical steps for prisoner’s swap.” The meeting was aimed to discuss the prisoner’s release.

Back in late February, the US and Taliban signed a deal which pave the ground for a gradual drawdown of foreign troops in Afghanistan and facilitation of intra-Afghan talks. The deal has contributed the release of 5,000 Taliban’s prisoners in return for the 1,000 prisoners, who are in Taliban’s custody but the Afghan government emphasized that it had not been involved in such decisions. 

The direct-Afghan talks were supposed to be held within a ten-day period of time but due to brawl over the prisoner release between the conflict sides, the talks have been delaying.

The NSC had earlier said the communication team had traveled to Doha with the invitation of the Qatari government. During its tripe to Qatar, the team has met with US, UN, Germany, Narvey and Qatar envoys, where they discussed issues, related to Afghanistan peace process.

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has arrived in unexpected tripe in Kabul on Monday to discuss the Afghan peace, regional consensus and security and political situation in Afghanistan with the Afghan leaders.

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