The delay by the Afghan authorities of the exchange of prisoners with the armed opposition hinders the beginning of a national dialogue and calls into question their interest in a settlement in the country, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova told a briefing.
"We urge Kabul to complete the exchange of prisoners and start a direct dialogue with the armed opposition without delay. We have pointed out that any delays in launching the intra-Afghan talks undermine the international efforts towards a settlement in Afghanistan and throw into question the Afghan authorities’ desire for an early restoration of peace in the country," she said.
Zakharova noted that the Afghan authorities have not released the remaining Taliban (banned in RF) prisoners. "They have put forth new conditions for their release," the diplomat noted.
On August 10, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani signed a decree on the release of the last group of captured Taliban supporters from a list handed over by radicals during talks with US representatives in February. The day before, an emergency meeting of tribal elders in Afghanistan had decided to release the Taliban group from local prisons. The Afghan authorities refused to release from prison this group of extremists, who, according to Kabul, were not only supporters of the Taliban, but also committed serious criminal crimes.
On February 29, a peace agreement was signed between the United States and the Taliban in the Qatari capital of Doha. It was stipulated that as part of confidence-building measures, up to 5,000 supporters of the radical movement and up to 1,000 people held by the Taliban should be released by the time the inter-Afghan talks were launched.
GSV "Russia - Islamic World"
Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry
Based on materials from TASS