Taliban, Afghan Govt Hold Skype Call on Prisoner Release

Talks offered hope for a return to peace process

Intra-Afghan negotiations that were called for as part of the US-Taliban peace talks never really got off the ground, but may have gotten a boost today, with the two sides holding talks on Skype on the prisoner release that the peace deal also mandated.

The US deal called for 5,000 Taliban prisoners to be released. The Afghan government decided to settle on no prisoners released, and the Taliban has insisted that the intra-Afghan talks won’t happen until they get them released.

The Skype call was on the prisoner release, and was facilitated by the US and Qatar. The two-hour talk was based on the technical details of releasing the prisoners. The Taliban emphasized that the talks were only about the prisoners themselves.

The Ghani government has changed their position on the prisoner releases repeatedly, at times saying they’d do the releases slowly, and at other times saying they want Taliban concessions first. It’s not clear where they stand now, but they did talk, and that suggests some progress was made.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.