Afghanistan’s Abdullah Promises Taliban More Releases If Peace Reached

Says country can't afford to waste the chance for peace

Abdullah Abdullah, a vice president of Afghanistan and head of the government’s negotiation team, spoke Wednesday of the importance of the peace process with the Taliban, saying after lost opportunities they can’t waste a chance for peace.

He’s looking to make a deal, too, saying Afghanistan will be willing to make concessions, including full removal of Taliban members from the UN blacklist, and the freeing of all Taliban prisoners if peace is reached.

Those are top priorities for the Taliban, and even mentioning them shows Abdullah is acknowledging what the Taliban needs for a deal, and is offering to make it happen. Others are probably taking notice too.

Particularly President Ghani, Abdullah’s long-time rival, who has been very public in opposing prisoner releases, and has seemed hesitant to commit to anything like getting them off the blacklist.

Where he stands might not be that big of a deal, however, as the deal ending the contested election saw Ghani giving Abdullah the post of chief negotiator. That seemingly gives him some decision-making power, which may be a good sign as he’s a lot more eager to make a deal than most officials.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.