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Taliban staff arrives in Kabul to start prisoner trade course of

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KABUL: A 3-member Taliban staff arrived in Kabul on Tuesday (Mar 31) to start a prisoner trade course of pivotal to kick-starting talks between the rebel group and negotiators named by the Afghan authorities to finish the nation’s 18-year-old warfare.

The peace talks, referred to as the intra-Afghan dialogue, have been envisaged in an settlement signed between the USA and the Taliban in Doha, which additionally stipulated an trade of 6,000 prisoners held by the Afghan authorities and the group.

READ: Kabul says it will attack Taliban if violence does not stop this week

“Our three-member technical staff will assist the method of prisoners’ launch by identification of the prisoners, (and) their transportation,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid informed Reuters.

The prisoner launch had been a sticking level within the beginning of peace talks, with the Taliban and Afghan authorities differing over the method and timing of the trade.

Nonetheless, after weeks of forwards and backwards, the method is ready to start with the arrival of the Taliban staff, which can arrange camp at a luxurious resort in Kabul.

“On this regard, they may do a type of take care of the other aspect (Afghan authorities),” Mujahid mentioned, including, “their sensible work would begin in coming days.”

The Taliban had beforehand refused to talk to the US-backed Afghan authorities immediately.

The Taliban staff had deliberate to ship a bigger, 10-member delegation, Mujahid mentioned, however the measurement was lowered because of the coronavirus fallout in Afghanistan.

The talks additionally acquired a lift after a government-named negotiating staff was endorsed by Abdullah Abdullah, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s predominant political rival.

“The formation of an inclusive negotiation staff is a vital step towards facilitating intra-Afghan negotiations,” Abdullah Abdullah mentioned on Twitter.

Variations between Ghani and Abdullah over the results of the 2019 presidential elections threatened to derail the peace course of with the Taliban – a concern voiced by main capitals all over the world, notably Washington.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo additionally termed Tuesday’s developments “excellent news”, saying the staff of negotiators introduced by the federal government appeared inclusive.

Pompeo final week flew to Kabul and the Qatari capital Doha, the place the Taliban have an workplace, to induce all sides to maneuver ahead with the method, which at that time was deadlocked.

“We have seen a (negotiating) staff recognized. Appears prefer it’s fairly inclusive, fairly broad. We’re glad about that,” Pompeo mentioned at a information convention in Washington on Tuesday.

“We have begun to see some work finished on prisoner releases, as properly, all parts which have to come back collectively so we will get to the inter Afghan negotiations, which in the end will show to be the one mechanism that has any hope of delivering peace and reconciliation to the folks,” he added.

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