Afghan president vows to speed up release of Taliban prisoners
May 24 2020 11:44 AM
Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani, looks on during a joint news conference with US Defense Secret
Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani, looks on during a joint news conference with US Defense Secretary Mark Esper and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in Kabul, on 29, 2020

AFP/Kabul

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani vowed Sunday to speed up the release of Taliban prisoners after welcoming a surprise offer by the insurgents of a three-day ceasefire during the Eid holiday.
"As a responsible government we take one more step forward -- I announce that I will expedite the Taliban prisoner releases," Ghani said in an address to the nation marking Eid al-Fitr.
He also urged the militants to press on with the release of the Afghan security personnel they hold.
A US-Taliban deal signed in February stipulated that the Afghan government would release up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners while the insurgents would free about 1,000 Afghan security force personnel.
The prisoner swap is seen as a confidence-building move ahead of long-awaited peace talks between the government and Taliban.
Kabul has so far released about 1,000 Taliban inmates while the insurgents have freed about 300 Afghan security force personnel.



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