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Pompeo, Baradar discuss intra-Afghan dialogue

Pompeo, Baradar discuss intra-Afghan dialogue

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Aug 04, 2020 - 11:44

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Talibaninfo-icon’s political office head Mullahinfo-icon Abdul Ghani Baradar have discussed intra-Afghan talks and prisoner releases.

Suhail Shaheen, spokesman for Taliban’s political office, tweeted that Pompeo and Baradar had a video conference on Monday evening.

The two sides termed the release of the remaining Taliban prisoners crucial, with Pompeo welcoming the Eid ceasefire by the Taliban, Shaheen added.

Under the Feb. 29 peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban, Kabul has to free 5,000 Taliban inmates and in return, the militant movement has already released 1,000 government soldiers.

According to the National Security Council (NSC), the government has released 317 more Taliban militants in the past three days, taking the total number to 4,914.

A grand assembly will convene to decide the fate of the remaining 400 Taliban prisoners, whom the government is reluctant to free.

The 400 Taliban inmates are allegedly on blacklists of Afghan and foreign governments, says presidential spokesman Sidiq Sidiqi.

The spokesman said President Ghani was not empowered by the constitution to release the 400 inmates because they had been convicted of serious crimes, including murder, smuggling of drugs and kidnappings.

sa/mud

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