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Afghanistan to release 500 Taliban prisoners until Monday, but not from list

31 Jul 2020 1TV News

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Friday vowed to release 500 Taliban prisoners until Monday, but they are not included in the list the group has provided.

The government has released 4,600 Taliban prisoners so far according to the list, the president said in a speech on the occasion of Eid al-Adha.

The president called for holding consultative Loya Jirga, or grand assembly, over the release of 400 Taliban prisoners included in the list.

He said that the assembly would be held soon and called on MPs and senators to return to Kabul from their vacation.

“We are doing it in order that the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan removes all the obstacles to peace,” Ghani said.

He called on the Taliban to immediately enter into negotiations.

Under an agreement between the group and the United States signed in February, the Afghan government is expected to release 5,000 prisoners while the Taliban are expected to free 1,000 before intra-Afghan talks

The Taliban on Thursday said that they had completed the release process.

In his speech, Ghani also called for the three-day Eid ceasefire to be extended. He said that Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, during his recent visit to Kabul, made it clear that Pakistan was of the view that the Taliban should join the republic system.

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