Afghan president: 3 Taliban released for held US, Australian

12 Novembre, 2019, 12:08 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Spokesman for the Afghan National Security Council Kabir Haqmal confirmed the meeting to reporters in Kabul and said the two sides discussed ways of normalising relations. — Video screengrab courtesy Kabir Haqmal Twitter

The Afghan government will release three high-ranking Taliban figures in exchange for American and Australian professors kidnapped almost three years ago, President Ashraf Ghani's office announced on Tuesday.

He also added that the government will release the prisoners after reaching to a conclusion with its worldwide allies.

Anas Haqqani, a leading figure in the Haqqani militant group, and two other senior commanders are part of the deal.

The Taliban, which has been waging an armed rebellion since being toppled from power in a US-led invasion in 2001, has held a series of talks with the United States in the Qatari capital, Doha.

The Haqqani network has in recent years carried large-scale militant attack on civilians.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan during a three-day visit to Washington in July that he would do his best to help release the American University professors.

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Afghanistan and the Taliban have reached a deal to release two American University teachers, including a USA citizen, in exchange for three Taliban members, the Afghan president said Tuesday morning.

The release of the Taliban officials is meant to show Afghanistan's government's willingness toward peace talks, the president said. Anas Haqqani has been in Afghan custody since October 2014 when US security forces nabbed him while en route to Qatar from Bahrain.

The three Taleban prisoners include Anas Haqqani, who was seized in 2014 and whose older brother is the deputy Taleban leader and head of the Haqqani network, a notorious Taliban affiliate.

A Pakistani delegation, including the chief of the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency was in Kabul to meet Afghan authorities on Monday.

According to Afghan officials, the next round of talks between the Taliban and Afghan representatives is slated for this month in Beijing.



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