Kabul not committed to free Taliban prisoners: Ghani

TEHRAN, Mar. 01 (MNA) – According to President Ashraf Ghani, the Afghanistan government has made no commitments to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners as mentioned in the signed US-Taliban deal.

“There is no commitment to releasing 5,000 prisoners. This is the right and the self-will of the people of Afghanistan. It could be included in the agenda of the intra-Afghan talks, but cannot be a prerequisite for talks,” RT quoted him as saying on Sunday in a press briefing.

He said that the US is facilitating the prisoners’ release but it is ultimately up to Kabul to “decide on it.”

The US-Taliban deal says that Washington will work with all sides on a prisoner swap as a confidence-building step. According to the plan, the US with the Afghan government and the Taliban would free up to 5,000 and 1,000 people respectively by March 10, which is set as the first day of peace talks between the Taliban and Kabul.

The agreement signed in Qatar’s capital, Doha on Saturday is tasked with laying the groundwork for ending the decades-long war in Afghanistan. The document says that terrorist groups must not use Afghan territory to attack the US and its allies. Washington promised to pull out all of the coalition troops from the country in 14 months and lift sanctions on Taliban members if they fulfill their commitments under the deal.

Meanwhile, Ghani expressed hope that the truce with the Taliban will lead to a lasting ceasefire. A negotiation team from Kabul will be formed in nine days, he said.


News Code 156182


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