The Afghans decided to release 1,500 Taliban

After a series of delays, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani issued a decree early Wednesday promising to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners as a gesture of goodwill to begin intra-Afghan negotiations, the AP reports. A recent peace deal signed between the United States and the Taliban demanded the release of up to 5,000 prisoners before much-sought negotiations. There was no official response from the Taliban, but the Associated Press saw a letter that Nooruddin Turabi, the head of the Taliban Prison Commission, sent to prisoners, their families and Taliban leaders promising that there would be no intra-Afghan talks until all prisoners have been released. The letter in their language was sent last weekend. She says the Taliban would verify that every released prisoner is among those on the US delegation’s list.

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