TALIBAN, AFGHAN GOVERNMENT HELD SKYPE CALL ON PRISONER RELEASES


24/03/2020




Aslıhan DOĞRU -TDO- The first meeting between the Afghan government and the Taliban to resolve the dispute over prisoner swaps took place over Skype due to coronavirus pandemics.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo travelled to Kabul despite the coronavirus to resolve the "two heads of state" crisis and ensure the start of the peace process within Afghanistan.

The U.S.-Taliban peace deal, which is not approved by the government in Afghanistan, is at risk over whether the government and the organization will foresee a prisoner swap, while a critical step has been taken in this context.

The meeting between the Afghan government and the Taliban, which was the first contact after the U.S.-Taliban agreement but did not officially mean the start of peace talks, lasted about 2.5 hours.

In the meeting discussed the technical details of the swap.

The meeting was held via video conference caused many comment in terms of the Taliban's decision to compete with the medieval mentality during the time of rule in Afghanistan and to ban television, music, and to fight the most educational science.

After the meeting, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad shared on his Twitter account, "The release of prisoners from both sides is an important step in the peace process".

Khalilzad warned that coronavirus pandemic is a more urgent matter than prisoners to be released.

"All sides have conveyed their strong commitment to a broad permanent ceasefire, reducing violence, inter-Afghan negotiations," Khalilzad said.

While elections in Afghanistan in September resulted in the announcement of two heads of state, it is unclear whether the prisoner swap, which is important for the future of the peace process, will take place.

Meanwhile, according to the agreement, the process of withdrawing US and NATO troops from Afghanistan has begun.


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