Ghani pledges release of up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in a meeting on Sunday announced that the government will release up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners as a goodwill gesture in response to the Taliban's calling for a three-day ceasefire, and the president also pledged to take further steps in the peace process

May 25, 2020
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Kabul: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in a meeting on Sunday announced that the government will release up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners as a goodwill gesture in response to the Taliban's calling for a three-day ceasefire, and the president also pledged to take further steps in the peace process.

On May 11 the Afghan government suspended the release of insurgent prisoners, saying the Taliban must bring its total number of released security force members to 200. The government claimed that so far the group had only freed 105."

The Afghan government has released 1,000 Taliban prisoners so far. The release of up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners was included as part of the US-Taliban deal signed in Doha on Feb. 29.

Presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi in a tweet said President Ghani today (Saturday) initiated a process to release up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners as a goodwill gesture in response to the Taliban’s announcement of a ceasefire during Eid.

He added that the Afghan government is extending the offer of peace and is taking further steps to ensure the success of the peace process.

 the Taliban announced the three-day ceasefire for Eid on Saturday evening.

The move was widely welcomed by Afghanistan’s allies in the world and in the region.

India welcomed the three-day ceasefire in Afghanistan, expressing hope that this ceasefire will extend further and become permanent so the country can better cope with the coronavirus pandemic and pave the way for a durable peace.

Iran also welcomed the three-day ceasefire in Afghanistan. The Iranian embassy in Kabul stated that the Iranian government hopes the gesture will help with further confidence-building in the peace process.

Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement welcomed “the announcements by the Taliban to observe a three-day ceasefire for Eid and the Afghan government to reciprocate.”

“We worked hard to achieve this moment, and I hope that this respite from conflict gives Afghan people the space and security they deserve to celebrate Eid, while allowing the Taliban and the government the opportunity to take additional steps toward a peaceful future for their country,” he said.

A credible security source said two security incidents occurred in the 20 hours after the announcement of the ceasefire. One happened in Raghistan district, Badakhshan province, during which two militants were killed, and the other in Parwan where two rockets were fired on Bagram Airfield, causing no casualties.


https://tolonews.com/index.php/afghanistan/ghani-pledges-release-2000-taliban-prisoners

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