Taliban made negotiations with Afghan gov. conditional

Tehran (IP) - The Taliban on Saturday announced the continuation of peace talks with Afghan government on Tuesday, subject to all its demands to be met.

Iran PressAsia: The group issued a statement on Friday expressing readiness to begin intra-Afghan peace talks with the Kabul government on Tuesday, but made it conditional on fulfilling all its demands, Afghan Khaama Press reported on Saturday.

Sohail Shahin, spokesman for the Taliban-based Doha political office, said in a statement that if the Afghan government did not abide by the terms of the 'Islamic Emirate' (Taliban) agreement with the United States and not release their prisoners, the group's negotiating team will not participate the talks despite setting of an agenda for the start of these on Tuesday, March 10, and it holds the other party accountable regarding the consequences.

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Meanwhile, Radio Voice of Afghanistan reported on a meeting of Ashraf Ghani and Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan at the Presidential Palace in Kabul last night, and suggested that the Afghan president might agree to release of the Taliban prisoners.

The two sides discussed the preparations and the next steps of the peace process and the start of talks by the Afghan government's negotiating team with the Taliban.

Earlier it was reported that Ashraf Ghani had refused to meet Khalilzad, but the Afghan Presidential Palace denied the report and confirmed the meeting. 207

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