(CNN)The Afghan government has agreed to release 400 Taliban prisoners, paving the way for direct peace talks with the insurgent group to end nearly two decades of war. The country’s grand assembly of elders, the consultative Loya Jirga, passed a resolution Sunday calling for the release of the last batch of some 5,000 Taliban prisoners, whom the Taliban demanded be freed as a condition for joining peace negotiations. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he would sign an order for the release of the inmates when he addressed the Loya Jirga in Kabul on Sunday. “The Jirga approves the release of four hundred Taliban prisoners in order to remove obstacles to the start of peace talks and stop the bloodshed,” the assembly said in its resolution. It added that following the release of the prisoners, “direct negotiations” should be “initiated immediately without any excuse.” Read More “The Jirga also calls on the Taliban to fulfill their obligation to release all civilians and military prisoners and release them immediately,” the resolution said. The first round of peace talks is planned to be held in Doha, the capital of Qatar, where the Taliban maintains a political office, Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of the… Read full this story
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