Afghan Government announces 21-member team to negotiate with Taliban

In a sign of progress for the United States-brokered peace deal, the government of Afghanistan, late on Thursday, March 26, announced formation of a 21-member team to negotiate with the Taliban.

The move came a day after the Afghan government and the Taliban agreed on a partial prisoner exchange at the end of the month along with a government announcement about its plan to meet the representatives of Taliban in Afghanistan in coming days for more discussions. Taliban had demanded unconditional release of 5,000 prisoners before holding talks with the government.

In February this year, the United States signed a troop withdrawal deal with the Taliban, the progress of which, on moving the negotiations between the Afghan government and the militant group has been delayed, due to the political feud between Ghani and Abdullah, with both claiming to be country’s rightful leader after September’s election.

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