Calls for ceasefire, women’s rights top priority as Afghan peace talks begin

Afghan government representatives and Taliban insurgents gathered on Saturday for historic peace talks aimed at ending two decades of war that has killed tens of thousands of combatants and civilians. Ahead of face-to-face negotiations in coming days, the warring sides were urged by various countries and groups to reach an immediate ceasefire and forge an… Read More Calls for ceasefire, women’s rights top priority as Afghan peace talks begin

Afghan government begins release of Taliban prisoners

The Afghan government has begun releasing the last Taliban prisoners from a final batch of 400 who the militants want freed before they agree to start peace negotiations, a security agency spokesman said on Friday. The government agreed on Sunday to release the 400 “hard-core” prisoners after consulting a grand assembly of elders and other… Read More Afghan government begins release of Taliban prisoners

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani signs decree to free Taliban prisoners

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Monday signed a decree to release a final batch of “hardcore” Taliban prisoners demanded by the militants, sources said, paving the way for long-awaited peace talks to begin in Qatar. “It is signed,” a presidential palace source said. Afghanistan’s grand assembly, or Loya Jirga, on Sunday approved the release, under… Read More Afghan President Ashraf Ghani signs decree to free Taliban prisoners

Afghanistan agrees to release 400 ‘hardcore’ Taliban prisoners in peace bid

The Afghan government agreed on Sunday to release 400 “hard-core” Taliban prisoners, paving the way for peace talks aimed at ending almost two decades of war. The insurgent group welcomed the move and said it was ready to begin talks within 10 days of the release. Under election-year pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump for… Read More Afghanistan agrees to release 400 ‘hardcore’ Taliban prisoners in peace bid

U.S. envoy meets with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, former rival Abdullah Abdullah

The United States’ special envoy for Afghanistan on Wednesday met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his former rival Abdullah Abdullah, to discuss progress towards a peace deal with the insurgent Taliban. The meeting was the first between the three men since Ghani and Abdullah ended a months-long political impasse in which both claimed to be… Read More U.S. envoy meets with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, former rival Abdullah Abdullah

Taliban suspend prisoner exchange talks, recalls negotiators from Afghanistan

The Taliban on Tuesday recalled the insurgent group’s negotiators from Afghanistan hours after they suspended talks on a prisoner exchange process with the Afghan government, a spokesman for the hard-line Islamist group said in a tweet. Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for Taliban’s political office in Qatar, said “the intentional delays in the release of our… Read More Taliban suspend prisoner exchange talks, recalls negotiators from Afghanistan

International Criminal Court set to launch investigation into alleged Afghan war crimes

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court will investigate whether war crimes were committed in Afghanistan by the Taliban, Afghan military and U.S. forces after an appeals panel said on Thursday the “truth-seeking” inquiry should go ahead. The ICC decision, which came days after the United States agreed to pull its troops from the long-running conflict,… Read More International Criminal Court set to launch investigation into alleged Afghan war crimes

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani rejects Taliban prisoner release under U.S. deal

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani rejected on Sunday a Taliban demand for the release of 5,000 prisoners as a condition for talks with Afghanistan’s government and civilians, included in a deal between the United States and the Islamist militants. “The government of Afghanistan has made no commitment to free 5,000 Taliban prisoners,” Ghani told reporters in… Read More Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani rejects Taliban prisoner release under U.S. deal