Afghan president Ghani pledges to release up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners

WION Web Team Kabul, Afghanistan May 25, 2020, 06.01 PM(IST)

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The announcement came after the government welcomed the armed group's surprise announcement of a three-day ceasefire during the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has started the process to release up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners as a "goodwill gesture".

The announcement came after the government welcomed the armed group's surprise announcement of a three-day ceasefire during the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

The decision to release the prisoners was taken "to ensure success of the peace process", Ghani's spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said on Twitter on Sunday.

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Meanwhile, the ceasefire appeared to hold as there were no reports of clashes between the Taliban and Afghan forces by the end of the first day on Sunday.

Ghani said a government delegation was "ready to immediately start the peace talks" with the Taliban.

Government negotiators would be headed by Ghani's former rival Abdullah Abdullah after the two signed a power-sharing deal last week that ended a months-long political crisis.

Before Sunday's announcement, Kabul had already released about 1,000 Taliban inmates while the Taliban had freed roughly 300 members of the Afghan security forces, according to reports.