Taliban Halts Afghan Talks, Says Efforts ‘Fruitless’

Spokesman says Ghani keeps delaying release

The Taliban walked out of talks with the Afghan government on Tuesday, saying they consider the face-to-face peace talks “fruitless” and don’t think the government is ever going to release their prisoners.

Under the US-Taliban deal, 5,000 prisoners were to be released. The Afghan government has refused to release any, but has demanded the Taliban hold talks with them ahead of any potential releases. After weeks of this, the Taliban is clearly tired of the effort.

One Taliban spokesman said despite the talks, President Ghani kept delaying releases “under one pretext or another,” and refused to release high-ranking Taliban. They’ve offered 400 low-level Taliban prisoners in return for massive concessions.

The end of intra-Afghan talks probably means a surge in new fighting between the Taliban and the Ghani government, something that was inevitable from the moment Ghani decided to not make good on promised prisoner releases.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.