US Envoy Khalilzad to Meet Taliban to Talk Prisoner Releases

Khalilzad cheers first round of releases

US peace negotiator Zelmay Khalilzad is meeting with top Taliban negotiators on the status of the peace process, and in particular the prisoner exchanges that were to be a centerpiece of intra-Afghan deals, and which are weeks behind schedule.

The US has invested heavily in negotiating such a pact, and has continued to push for the Taliban to reduce violence, even though they’ve done little to push the Afghan government publicly on the prisoner releases.

In many ways, however, this may be a problem taking care of itself. Already, the Afghan government has released several hundred prisoners in the past few days, and they and the Taliban are both planning new releases in the days to come.

This may not be the schedule anyone initially expected, but with releases advancing, they may ultimately get to the destination they’d hoped for. It’s not clear, with progress being made, what the US can expect to accomplish with these talks.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for 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.