TEHRAN (Iran News) – A senior member of the Taliban said the group will engage in talks with Kabul providing that the Afghan government frees the last of its Taliban prisoners.
In an interview with Tasnim on Thursday, the Taliban’s political spokesman Suhail Shaheen said if the Afghan government upholds its promise and frees all Taliban prisoners, the group will engage in intra-Afghan dialogue.
He further called on the government “not to kill the time” and fulfill its pledge as soon as possible.
“We are ready for talks with the Afghan government only if the government frees all its Taliban prisoners,” the spokesman said.
Javed Faisal, spokesman for the Afghan national security adviser’s office, previously said nearly 600 Taliban prisoners whose release is being sought have been convicted of serious crimes. The government is reluctant to set them free, he said.
The release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners held by the government and 1,000 government personnel and security officials in Taliban custody is laid out in a so-called US-led peace deal with the Taliban.
According to the deal, the prisoner exchange is to take place ahead of talks between Kabul and the Taliban, seen as perhaps the most critical part of the deal.
- source : Tasnim, Irannews