Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has signed a decree to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners as a move to launch direct talks with the armed group to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan.

Iran Press/Asia: According to a copy of the two-page decree late on Tuesday night, all released Taliban prisoners will have to provide "a written guarantee to not return to the battlefield".

"President Ghani has signed the decree that would facilitate the release of the Taliban prisoners in accordance with an accepted framework for the start of negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government," Ghani's spokesman Sediq Sediqqi posted on Twitter.

The decree, to be made public later by Ghani's office, lays out details about how the Taliban prisoners will be released in a systematic manner to further peace deals.

The process of releasing the prisoners will begin in four days, the decree said.

Ghani, who previously refused to honor a prisoner swap deal between the US and the Taliban, later said he was not averse to releasing Taliban prisoners to move the peace process forward.

A first batch of 1,500 prisoners will be released starting Saturday, with 100 released per day, Sadiqqi said in subsequent tweets in Persian.

Once direct talks between the Taliban and Afghan government begin, the Afghan government will release 500 prisoners every two weeks until another 3,500 are released, he said.

The release of the 3,500 will only move forward if there is a concrete reduction in violence, Sadiqqi added.

In other development, Abdullah Abdullah has begun work on forming his cabinet and appointing new governors, said Assadullah Saadati, a close aide to Abdullah, who at a parallel swearing-in ceremony in Kabul on Monday also took an oath of office as president and vowed to establish an "inclusive" government that will focus on peace and governance reforms.   

Saadati said that forming a specialized cabinet will be time-consuming.  

“Forming a cabinet is a major task and it needs more work, particularly when it comes to forming an inclusive, specialized and working cabinet,” he said.

According to Saadati, the current situations in the country aren't normal; however, he said that there is always space for negotiations in politics.

“In politics, no one can reject negotiations in order to resolve a crisis. We need to be realistic, because currently there is a problem and the situation is not normal --- the talks now will be totally different from what they were before the inauguration,” added Saadati. 101

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