The Taliban stated it might on Sunday launch the primary prisoners in a delayed trade cope with the Afghan authorities — a possible breakthrough after the insurgents walked out of talks with Kabul final week.
The announcement comes as fears rose that an avenue for fragile peace talks between the 2 sides was being undercut by mounting disagreements over the prisoner swap, thought-about key to paving the best way for negotiations.
“In the present day, 20 prisoners of the Kabul administration will likely be launched,” Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen stated on Twitter, including that the group can be handed over to representatives of the Pink Cross within the southern metropolis of Kandahar.
The Afghan authorities has pressed forward with liberating a whole bunch of Taliban prisoners over the previous week, regardless of complaints from the rebel group concerning the piecemeal nature of the releases.
Washington signed a landmark cope with the Taliban in February that promised the withdrawal of US and international troops from Afghanistan by subsequent summer time, supplied the militants begin talks with Kabul and cling to different ensures.
The deal requires the Afghan authorities — which was not a signatory to the accord — to free as much as 5,000 Taliban prisoners, and for the militants to launch 1,000 pro-government captives in return.
The trade was speculated to have occurred by March 10, permitting peace talks to start, however has been beset with issues.
Kabul has claimed the Taliban need 15 of their “prime commanders” to be launched, whereas the insurgents have accused Afghan authorities of needlessly losing time.
A small Taliban group met with the federal government to debate a complete prisoner swap final week, however walked out of the talks quickly after officers supplied a gradual launch of the prisoners.
Sunday’s announcement got here after the pinnacle of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan met with rebel leaders to debate a discount in violence within the war-weary nation.
The Taliban cautioned that their resolution to launch a gaggle of prisoners didn’t imply that the talks with Kabul have been being restarted.
“No the method shouldn’t be again on, however this can be a good will step by the [the Taliban] to speed up the prisoners trade course of,” rebel spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid instructed AFP.
Javid Faisal, the spokesman for the Afghan Nationwide Safety Council, chided the insurgents for not beginning the method earlier, saying a discount in violence and subsequent ceasefire between the 2 sides was wanted.
“They need to additionally put together for a face-to-face assembly with the Islamic republic of Afghanistan,” stated Faisal.
The insurgents have additionally stepped up their assaults on Afghan safety forces in government-controlled areas throughout the nation and accused US forces of aiding the Afghan authorities with air help, inflicting civilian casualties.
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