Afghan government frees 100 Taliban prisoners as part of peace process-THE HINDU-09-04-2020

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Differences over the prisoner release question have been complicating U.S. brokered attempts to create a lasting peace agreement to end more than 18 years of conflict in Afghanistan.

The development comes despite the group’s suspension of talks on a planned prisoner exchange crucial to moving to formal talks to end years of war.

Differences over the prisoner release question have been complicating U.S. brokered attempts to create a lasting peace agreement to end more than 18 years of conflict in Afghanistan.

A February 2020 pact between the United States and the Taliban, under which U.S.-led international forces will withdraw in phases in exchange for Taliban security guarantees, is the best chance to reduce U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan.

It required the Afghan government which was not a signatory to the accord to free 5,000 Taliban prisoners, and for the insurgents to release 1,000 pro-government captives in return.

In the accord, Washington promised the withdrawal of US and foreign troops from Afghanistan by July 2021 provided the Taliban start talks with Kabul and adhere to other guarantees.

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