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Kabul calls for immediate talks with Taliban

AT News

KABUL: The government calls on the Taliban to immediately join peace negotiations, while the insurgent group insists on the release of the remaining 2,000 prisoners of them in government jails.

Javid Faisal, Spokesman for the National Security Council, said Tuesday that the process of prisoner release continues, urging that it should not obstruct the beginning of peace negotiations.

“The process of Taliban prisoner release is continuing according to presidential decree. But the face to face talks with Taliban group needs to begin without any conditions and delays so that we can reach a nationwide and durable peace,” Faisal said.

The government says it has so far released 3,000 of Taliban prisoners. It had previously said that the intra-Afghan talks would soon begin in the Qatari capital of Doha city.

Taliban emphasize that all the 5,000 prisoners they had demanded, should be released prior to the talks.

“The 2,000 prisoners still held by the government should be released because it is included in the US peace deal. If they are released, then Taliban will not have more excuses to delay the talks. They are trying to justify their instance based on the peace deal with the United States,” Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban commander said.

Taliban who had vowed to released 1,000 government prisoners have so far freed 571, but the government claims the released people are all civilians, not soldiers or police.

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