March 6, 2021

Taliban Announce Failure of Negotiations to Release Prisoners



The Taliban announced on Tuesday the failure of negotiations in Kabul between the Afghan government and an insurgent delegation to start the release of prisoners, a process that they have described as “unsuccessful” and that is key to the start of the peace talks. intra-Afghan.

“Unfortunately, until now the release (of prisoners) has been delayed under one pretext or another. Therefore, (as of today) our technical team will not participate in unsuccessful meetings with relevant parties,” he stated on his Twitter account. Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen.

The “technical” delegation made up of three insurgents, who tried to negotiate the details of the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners, arrived in Kabul on March 31, a historic gesture as it was the first such Taliban visit in 19 years of war. .

This process, which also includes the release of a thousand prisoners of the Afghan security forces in insurgent custody, is part of the agreement reached in Doha between the Taliban and the United States on February 29, by which the US committed to the withdrawal of foreign troops in 14 months.

According to that pact, the release of the prisoners was due to have taken place on March 10, but the Afghan government initially refused, requesting earlier to start negotiations with the Taliban, and although it later yielded, it demanded a staggered process.

Thus, Shaheen remarked today, they sent the “technical team of the Prisoners Commission to Kabul for verification and identification” of the insurgents who were to be released, according to the “agreement signed and the promise made”, but finally the release did not take place , he concluded, without providing further details.

AFGHAN GOVERNMENT IS READY

The Afghan government, however, insists that they are ready for the start of the release of prisoners, but that it is the Taliban who do not allow this process to begin.

The National Security Council, chaired by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, met on Monday to discuss the release of the Taliban.

After the meeting, one of the participants, the head of the Independent Local Government Directory, Matin Bek, gave a press conference, in which he remarked that the Government is ready to release “400 prisoners, but it is the Taliban who are not they want to start. “

“The Taliban are pressing and insisting on the release of 15 (Taliban commanders) whose release would entail serious problems. They have participated in major attacks, their hands are stained with the blood of our nation,” said Bek, but the insurgents want them to be ” first “to be released.

The senior Afghan official insisted that they agree to the release of 5,000 prisoners and have shown their “flexibility”, but what they cannot do is release “the murderers of the Afghans … to reinforce the front line of the In front “of the Taliban, that liberation must be” gradual “.

To do this, the Afghan government “wants to free the prisoners who pose the least threat to security first,” because if they start with the most dangerous, the people will “point them as responsible” for their actions.

This release of prisoners is a key step in starting talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, a negotiating process that seeks to non-violently end almost two decades of war in Afghanistan.

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