KABUL: Zhao Lijian, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson said that the release of prisoners is an important step for the Afghan government and Taliban to establish mutual trust and initiate intra-Afghan talks. The Afghan government and people deliberated and agreed on this important decision through the consultative Loya Jirga in accordance with their rules of procedure.
“China welcomes that and believes it follows the principle for the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process and will contribute to realizing intra-Afghan talks,” he said in his regular press briefing in Beijing, the capital city of China.
The Afghan situation has come to a crucial juncture, he said, adding, “All relevant parties should follow through on their promises and agreements with Afghanistan to ensure the situation there remains stable and orderly.”
He added, “China will continue to play a constructive role in promoting the political settlement of the Afghan issue and the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.”
This is as President Ashraf Ghani on Monday evening signed a decree to release 400 Taliban prisoners as suggested by the Consultative Loya Jirga to remove the last hurdle on the path towards intra-Afghan talks.
The Taliban said they will not sit with Afghan government peace force unless all their 5,000 prisoners promised in a peace agreement with the US, not to be released.
US-Taliban signed a peace deal on 29th February, paving way for Afghan-to-Afghan negotiations to end the war in the country.
The warring sides (Afghan and the Talliban) have been asked by the international community and the regional countries to stop the war and reach a compromise to end the war through direct negotiations.
China, a neighboring country, has once again reiterated support to the Afghan-owed peace process, and expressed readiness to play a key role in political settlement in Afghanistan.