Afghan delegation met Taliban Gitmo detainees: Faizi
KABUL (PAN): A presidential spokesman on Saturday confirmed a National Security Council delegation had visited five Taliban prisoners in the US-run Guantanamo Bay detention centre and the inmates had agreed to take part in the peace talks in Qatar.
The US wanted to shift the five prisoners from Cuba to Qatar, Aimal Faizi, a spokesman for President Karzai told Pajhwok Afghan News, saying the Afghan government had the right under the law to safeguard the rights of its citizens.
The Afghan delegation discussed with the prisoners who agreed to be reunited with their families in Doha, said the spokesman.
He said the Kabul government had no opposition to the US move of sending the inmates to Qatar as it would help accelerate peace talks between the US and Taliban.
Faizi also confirmed that Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmay Rasul would leave to Qatar for talks on diplomatic relations and peace process.
Earlier in the day, Reuters news agency reported an Afghan government delegation visited the US Guantanamo Bay military prison this week to secure approval from five Taliban detainees who may soon be moved to Qatar, a sign that the Obama administration is inching closer to establishing peace talks to end the war in Afghanistan.
The delegation, which visited the top-security detention center in Cuba on Monday, included Ibrahim Spinzada, a senior foreign policy aide to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, sources familiar with the subject said.
Government sources in Kabul said Spinzada and Shahida Abdali, a senior Afghan security official, visited the United States this week. The White House said the two officials were in Washington briefly but both the White House and Pentagon declined comment on the Guantanamo visit.
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