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Afghans Agree to Release Taliban Prisoners to Advance Talks

On Tuesday, the Afghan government agreed to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners as a gesture of goodwill before beginning negotiations with the terrorist group, causing controversy in Washington. Last month, the US signed a deal with the insurgent group to withdraw all troops within 14 months, under specific conditions including that the Taliban break ties with terrorists and start talks with the Afghan government to promote welfare and peace within the region.

The deal also includes that the Afghan government release up to 5,000 prisoners as part of a prisoner swap in order to begin talks, however, the Afghan government has refrained from releasing the criminals as a precondition for talks until recently. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani signed a decree that allows for the release of 100 prisoners per day for 15 days, and after that moving to releasing prisoners contingent on launching talks aimed at ending two decades of violence in the region.

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