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Pompeo, Taliban leaders hold talks via video link

30 Jun 2020 1TV News

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held talks with Taliban leaders via video conference on Monday, a spokesman of the group said.

During the virtual meeting, the sides discussed implementation of the Doha deal, withdrawal of foreign troops, release of prisoners, launching intra-Afghan negotiations and reducing attacks, Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for Taliban’s political office in Qatar, said on Twitter.

Taliban deputy leader Mullah Baradar said that they were committed to starting intra-Afghan talks, but delay in release of prisoners has delayed the process, according to Shaheen.

He said that establishing of checkpoint by government forces in Taliban-seized areas and their movement through their territories have led to an increase in attacks.

Baradar said that as per the agreement, they will not allow anyone to use Afghanistan against the security of US and other countries.

He said that withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan should continue according to the timetable.

Pompeo admitted that the intensity of conflict had been reduced as Taliban avoided attacks in cities and major military centers, but all sides should reduce it further, Shaheen said.

Baradar urged Pompeo to release Haji Bashir, who is imprisoned in US, and Afghans in Guantanamo prison.

The Taliban spokesman also said that their leadership met with Iranian special envoy for Afghanistan, Mohammad Ibrahim Tahiryan, in Doha.

They discussed the problems Afghan refugees are facing in Iran, border issues and Afghan-led and Afghan-owed intra-Afghan talks and the current situation of Afghanistan, Shaheen said.

Baradar urged the envoy that Afghan refugees in Iran should be treated as brothers.

Baradar said that they would enter into intra-Afghan talks after their prisoners are released.

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