Afghanistan vows to release 175 Taliban prisoners after peace summit
Days after a new round of peace negotiations between the US government and the Taliban began in the Qatari capital Doha, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani told a grand tribal council in Kabul that his country will release 175 Taliban prisoners as a gesture of goodwill and that he is willing to agree to a bilateral ceasefire as well.
The gestures appear to be part of an attempt by the government of Afghanistan to persuade the Taliban to engage in direct negotiations with its representatives. So far the Taliban has only been willing to negotiate with the US because it considers the Afghan government a puppet of the US.
Last month, US and Taliban negotiators wrapped up 16 days of talks without a deal to end the war of 17 years. Both sides have broadly agreed that such an agreement would result in a withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan under condition that the country will not be used by militant groups to launch attacks against the US and allied countries.