Pompeo holds video meeting with political deputy of Taliban

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Taliban political deputy Abdul Ghani Baradar discussed the Afghan peace process by video conference Monday night.

Iran PressAmerica: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Pompeo and Taliban political deputy Abdul Ghani Baradar discussed the start of intra-Afghan talks, the release of prisoners and the current situation in Afghanistan, said Soheil Shahin, a spokesman for the Taliban's political bureau in Qatar.

This video meeting took place at a time when the start of the intra-Afghan talks has not yet been determined.

The release of Taliban prisoners is one of the group's key preconditions for the resumption of intra-Afghan talks.

According to the US agreement with the Taliban, which was signed in Qatar on February 29, 5,000 Taliban prisoners and 1,000 Afghan government soldiers must be released before international talks can begin.

About 4,600 of the 5,000 Taliban prisoners have been released so far. But the release of another 400 Taliban prisoners whom the Afghan government calls dangerous criminals has become a challenging issue.

The Afghan Peace Consultative Loya Jirga is scheduled to convene next Friday to decide the fate of the 400 prisoners. 

The United States, which has made the situation more difficult for Afghanistan's National Reconciliation Program by pledging the release of all Taliban prisoners before the start of intra-Afghan peace talks with the group, seeks to free itself from the war in the country.

The United States and its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have been negotiating for more than a year after the defeat in nearly two decades of a devastating war in Afghanistan under the pretext of fighting the Taliban and eradicating terrorism.


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