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Afghanistan refuses to free Taliban prisoners under US peace deal without ‘executive guarantee’

Afghanistan refuses to free Taliban prisoners under US peace deal without ‘executive guarantee’
The proposed release of 5,000 jailed Taliban fighters, required under their peace deal with the US, can happen only if the Afghan government gets a guarantee that they will not ‘return to violence,’ President Ashraf Ghani said.

“The people’s request is that there should be an executive guarantee so that these people will not return to violence once they are released,” the Afghan leader told parliament on Saturday, adding that a “transparent mechanism” has to be established to enact that part of the Taliban-US deal.

Under the agreement signed by the US and the Taliban in Qatar last Saturday, as many as 5,000 members of the militant movement currently held in Afghan prisons would be released by March 10. This would pave the way to intra-Afghan talks on the future of the country.

Also on rt.com There is no commitment on the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners – Afghan president after US deal

Ghani, who is to be inaugurated on Monday for his second term as Afghanistan’s president, said earlier that his government was bound to no commitment to free the prisoners.

During his parliament speech Ghani asked MPs to provide seven lawmakers to participate in the reconciliation council, a body that would handle the talks with the Taliban on the government side. He wouldn’t promise that any of them would be included in the negotiating team, however.

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