Abdullah: Total 3,000 Taliban Prisoners Released by Government

Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said the government has so far released about 3,000 Taliban prisoners.

The remarks were made in a video conference on the issues of international support to start the intra-Afghan peace dialogue.

Abdullah said that for the first time, there was a real opportunity for peace in Afghanistan.

He stressed that there is a consensus among various factions inside Afghanistan, and that there have been major changes at the international and regional levels.

“We are witnessing an international consensus on achieving peace,” he said, noting that various countries have been affected by the war and terrorist activities in Afghanistan.

Abdullah called the reduction of violence and the exchange of prisoners, that started after the call for the Eid ceasefire, an effective step in starting negotiations.

He also pointed out that Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. envoy to Afghanistan, was talking to the Taliban in Qatar to finalize the representatives for the start of negotiations.

Abdullah said about 3,000 Taliban prisoners had been released by the government and hoped that the prisoner exchange would be completed by the day of the talks, or reach a level that would be acceptable to both sides.

The head of the Council added that the government is ready to negotiate and will spare no effort to achieve peace.

He called on the Taliban to take advantage of the opportunity to meet the demands of the people.

Meanwhile, the intra-Afghan peace process entered a new phase, with Khalilzad’s recent trip to Doha, Qatar then Islamabad, Pakistan and finally Kabul, Afghanistan.

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Latest from Newsfeed; Monday, June 8 2020