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Khalilzad, Baradar discuss peace deal violations

AT News

KABUL: The US special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad has lately met Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, head of Taliban’s political office in Qatar, where they have discussed violations of a peace deal they signed earlier as well as prisoner swap, a Taliban official said.

Suhail Shahin, spokesman of the militants’ office in Doha said Tuesday that the meeting took place on Monday hosted by the Qatari foreign minister, where the US forces commander in Afghanistan General Scott Miller was also present.

The US state department said in a statement that Khalilzad had headed to Qatar to talk to Taliban officials on the current challenges facing the peace agreement, but it did not provide details.

The statement said that Khalilzad left for Doha on Sunday.

The US and Taliban signed a peace agreement on February 29, based on which the US starts troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and Taliban in return do not let international terrorist groups to use Afghan soil as a platform to threaten security of the US and its allies.

Taliban who were expected to hold negotiations with the government shortly after the US peace deal, demanded the release of their 5,000 comrades held in government custody as a precondition.

The government has so far freed 300 of them.

The insurgents had also promised to release 1,000 of government employees they are holding. They announced to have freed 20 of the prisoners in Kandahar province, but provincial officials say the freed people were not government employees and the militants cheated them.

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