Afghan Presidential Spokesman Says Latest Batch of Taliban Prisoners Released

KABUL, September 2- The Afghan government has demonstrated its commitment to the domestic peace process by releasing another batch of Taliban prisoners, presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said on Wednesday, adding that Kabul is expecting the militant group to follow suit. Earlier in the day, Fraidoon Khawzoon, the spokesman for the chairman of the High…

KABUL, September 2 (Sputnik) – The Afghan government has demonstrated its commitment to the domestic peace process by releasing another batch of Taliban prisoners, presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said on Wednesday, adding that Kabul is expecting the militant group to follow suit.

“The Afghan government has released another batch of the remaining Taliban prisoners and the work is still underway to move the prisoner exchange process forward … The Afghan Government delivers on its commitments in the peace process in line with the mandate given by the Consultative Peace Jirga. We expect the Taliban to live up to their commitments on the release of the remaining ANSDF [Afghan National Security and Defense Forces] captives,” the spokesman wrote on Twitter.

Earlier in the day, Fraidoon Khawzoon, the spokesman for the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, told Sputnik that the Afghan government is planning to release all remaining Taliban prisoners on Wednesday.

Khawzoon added that a government delegation is scheduled to leave for the Qatari capital of Doha in the evening or on Thursday for planned intra-Afghan talks.

Following these comments, Afghan First Vice President Amrullah Saleh said that the government is undecided on the release of six Taliban prisoners as objections have been raised by Australia and France.

According to the terms of a February US-Taliban peace deal, 5,000 members of the militant organization would be released from prison in exchange for 1,000 government and military personnel being held by the Taliban.

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