No progress from Taliban side in peace process: spokesman

By: The Kabul Times

KABUL: Presidential Spokesman Sediq Sediqi on Saturday said that Afghan government has released nearly 3,900 Taliban prisoners but the Taliban did not take future steps for intra-Afghan talks. Addressing reporters here at the Government Media and Information Center (GMIC), Sediqi said on the bases of the US, Taliban agreement, Afghan government has released 3,895 Taliban prisoners so far. Sediqi added: “I think there is no hurdle to peace on this side, unfortunately violence and surge in attacks on their side [Taliban] hurt enthusiasm for peace. We don’t see any progress from the opposite side in this regard. When it’s about comparison, government made all its preparation for peace talks and we hope the Taliban would take steps such as their ceasefire announcement during Eid days and don’t disappoint people and the international community regarding consensuses developed for peace and stability in the country.” He said the Taliban should respond to the public questions that when they are prepared for intra-Afghan talks. Currently, 8,200 US forces under the NATO Resolute Support mission are engaged in the training and advice mission of Afghan forces. CNN has recently reported citing two US government officials that President Trump was working on his plan to reduce the number of US forces in Afghanistan to 4,000 by fall this year. Referring to the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, Sediqi said Afghanistan and US relationships were not based on the number of US forces in the country. He said NATO would continue working with Afghanistan until durable peace is established in Afghanistan.

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