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Taliban halt meetings over prison swap

07 Apr 2020 Salam Watandar

KABUL (SW) – The Taliban on Tuesday announced to halt 'fruitless meetings’ with the Afghan government over prison swap.

In a series of tweets, the group’s Qatar office spokesman, Suhail Shaheen blamed the Afghan government for delaying release of prisoners. 

“We sent a technical team of the Prisoner’s Commission to Kabul for verification and identification of our prisoners as release of prisoners was to start as per the signed agreement (between the U.S. and Taliban) and the promise made (to us)”, he tweeted. 

“But, unfortunately, their release has been delayed under one pretext or another till now. Therefore, our technical team will not participate in fruitless meetings with relevant sides starting from tomorrow”.

A day earlier, Abdul Mateen Baig, head of the Independent Directorate of Local Governance, said the insistence of the Taliban on release of their 15 top commanders who are charged with major terror attacks has delayed the prisoner swap in Afghanistan. “We are ready to free some 400 prisoners right away, but they [Taliban] are insisting on release of their 15 commanders, who have blood of innocent people on their hands,” Baig said.

Earlier this week, Taliban warned that it will resume full-scale attacks if a peace agreement signed with the U.S. in February is not followed in letter and spirit. In a statement, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid accused the Afghan government of delaying the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners which was promised under the agreement.


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