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Khalilzad Plunged by Taliban’s Demand

Taliban seeks release of their reaming prisoners, removal of names of their colleagues from the UN Blacklist

AT News

KABUL: The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation met with Taliban’s deputy leader Mullah Baradar and chief negotiator Abdula Hakeem in Doha of Qatar, where they discussed issues related to recent development in the Afghan peace process. However, the discussion was mainly dominated by the Taliban’s fresh demand such as releasing more prisoners and removing their names from the blacklist.

In general, the value of the agreement signed between the two sides was discussed, said Mohammad Naeem, a spokesman for the Taliban delegation.

Likewise, the release of the remaining prisoners of the Taliban, the removal of the names of the Taliban members and leaders from the UN Blacklist, were also discussed, according to him.

The Intra-Afghan negotiations, especially lately, made progress and some other relevant issues were also discussed, he added.

The meeting when both sides (Afghan government and Taliban negotiator) have made primarily progress, opening a window for real, but of course, tough talks.

An Afghan negotiating member, Nader Nadery said that the Joint Working Committee of the negotiating team of Afghanistan and the other side met on Dec 5, 2020. “The Committee discussed the issue related to the agenda of the negotiation. The working committee will meet again,” he added.

However, the fresh demand of releasing more Taliban prisoners came when earlier Khalilzad said he was not happy about a controversial deal to set free 5,000 Taliban prisoners in order to secure historic peace talks.

Speaking to BBC at that time, Khalilzad said that “you have to make hard decisions.” When he asked about reports of ex-prisoners returning to the battlefield, he said there is no evidence.

Khalilzad welcomed the news from Doha that the two sides have reached a significant milestone.

“This agreement demonstrates that the negotiating parties can agree on tough issues. We congratulate both sides on their perseverance,” he said in a twitter post.

He said that the people of Afghanistan now expect rapid progress on a political roadmap and a ceasefire. “We understand their desire and we support them.”

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