Freed Taliban fighters returning to battlefield, top Afghan negotiator says

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The United States, Taliban and Afghanistan government delegations officially began the intra-Afghan negotiations on 12 September 2020. EPA-EFE/STRINGER The United States, Taliban and Afghanistan government delegations officially began the intra-Afghan negotiations on 12 September 2020. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Freed Taliban fighters returning to battlefield, top Afghan negotiator says

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa08663346 Afghanistan Peace Grand Council chief, Abdullah Abdullah speaks during the opening session of the peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, 12 September 2020. EPA-EFE/STRINGER

Afghanistan Peace Grand Council chief, Abdullah Abdullah speaks during the opening session of the peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, 12 September 2020.

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I repeat my call to the Taliban themselves and also to all partners who have any leverage over the Taliban to press on that point”, Abdullah said. Afghanistan and Taliban peace talk negotiators held their first session last week in Doha. Some of the Taliban prisoners who were released by the Afghan government as a condition for peace talks have returned to the battlefield, lead Kabul negotiator Abdullah Abdullah has said. He also warned that some of the Taliban prisoners released by the Afghan authorities as a condition for talks had resumed the fight against the government: “I do know that some have returned to the battlefield, which is a violation of the agreement that they had made”, Abdullah said. Abdullah said the negotiations have been positive, but stressed the two sides remain far from agreement on virtually every issue. Under the US-Taliban deal signed in February, a prisoner swap of about 5,000 Taliban prisoners and 1,000 detained Afghan security personnel was agreed as a confidence-building measure ahead of formal peace talks aimed at ending the 19-year war. “Unfortunately, so far, the level of violence is very high and to a level that is not acceptable for the people. Since signing the agreement, the Taliban have kept a promise not to attack US and NATO troops, but they have carried out regular attacks on Afghan security forces.

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