Asia & Pacific

Taliban Delegation Arrives in Doha to Negotiate Start of Intra-Afghan Talks, Reports Say

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Deputy Political Director of the Taliban* Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and other representatives of the group’s negotiating team have arrived in Qatar’s Doha for talks regarding the arrangement of the intra-Afghan talks, the group’s spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, told 1TV News broadcaster on Saturday.

According to the spokesman, later on Saturday, the negotiating teams of the Taliban and Afghan government are set to agree on the date of the start of the intra-Afghan peace talks.

Meanwhile, the TOLOnews broadcaster reported, citing its sources, that Kabul’s delegation, which was expected to arrive in Doha earlier this week with several Taliban prisoners that still remain in the government’s custody, would come to the Qatari capital later on Saturday.

Earlier this week, the Afghan government released all Taliban prisoners except seven who are accused of killing foreign citizens.

The prisoners’ swap between the Taliban and Afghan government became possible after the movement signed a peace process deal with the United States in late February. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani initially said he was not ready to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners but subsequently agreed to the requirement after the Taliban unleashed a wave of violence targeting soldiers and military alike.

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