Afghanistan to send 7 Taliban inmates to Qatar: Report
Iran Press TV
Thursday, 03 September 2020 10:13 AM
Afghanistan will move seven Taliban prisoners to Qatar, a report says, a few days ahead of peace talks between Kabul and the militant group in the Persian Gulf state.
"They will be shifted to Doha" soon, Reuters quoted an unnamed Afghan official as saying on Thursday.
The official also said that Kabul had not wanted to free the seven prisoners because they were guilty of killing foreign troops in the country.
He also said that top Afghan officials were set to travel to the Qatari capital for the peace negotiations this week.
Reuters said that Taliban and a number of Western diplomats had also confirmed the news to the agency.
On Monday, the Afghan government resumed the release of Taliban captives after days of vacillating because they had been involved in serious crimes.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Wednesday that Kabul had "fulfilled all its commitments." "The release of Taliban prisoners is a clear demonstration of the government's commitment to peace," Ghani said.
Afghanistan's Loya Jirga, or grand assembly of elders, had earlier approved the release of 400 imprisoned Taliban militants who had been involved in serious crimes in Afghanistan and whom the Afghan government was hesitant to release.
The prisoner swap, part of a deal between the Taliban and the United States, was considered a prelude to peace talks between the militants and Kabul.
Under the deal with the US, the militant group agreed to stop its attacks on international forces in return for the US military's phased withdrawal from Afghanistan and the prisoner swap with the government.
The Taliban have formerly refused to recognize the Afghan government as legitimate.
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