The Taliban has claimed under a peace pact the group signed with the United States on late February, they have released nearly 700 prisoners of the Afghan government by far whereas the Afghan government announced only 408 of the inmates were from the Afghan forces–the rest were all civilians.
The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs meanwhile announced Afghanistan is hosting three multi-lateral meetings on the already-delayed peace negotiations this week, starting from Monday, July 6.
Gran Hewad, a spokesman for the foreign ministry said the meetings that will be held via video, precedes the long-awaited intra-Afghan negotiations and aims at building regional and international consensus in support of the Afghan peace process.
The Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani will inaugurate the first meeting on Monday, which is set to be held via video conference, said Mr. Hewad, speaking in a video clip.
A second trilateral meeting will be held between Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China on Tuesday (July 07), said Mr. Hewad, adding that security and economic cooperation, and the peace process will be discussed by the participants.
The third meeting will be attended by Afghanistan’s major international partners and the countries which provided support for Afghanistan in security and economic fields for over the past 19 years, according to the foreign ministry.
Political affairs experts, however, believe that the meetings preceding the peace talks, if have clear agenda, can help the Afghan peace process proceed.
To quote a political analyst, Nasurllah Falak, these meetings can help determine the intents of countries in the region and across the globe.
Ainuddin Bek, another political expert, on the other hand, said the regional and European countries have an important role in the Afghan peace process. Holding such sort of meetings can shorten the distance for a sustainable peace in the country, he said.
As prisoner releases is yet to be completed, but according to reports, additional prisoners would be freed soon and the direct talks would begin in the middle of July.
The direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban group were scheduled to begin on March 10 following an agreement struck between the United States and the armed group; they are, however, yet to begin due to a delay in fulfilling the process of prisoner exchanges.
Follow TKG on Twitter & Facebook