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Afghan government to release 1,500 prisoners

US, WASHINGTON (NEWS OBSERVATORY) — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to order release of 1,500 Taliban prisoners to allow direct talks with Islamist insurgents and to end decades of war in Afghanistan, shows copy of ‘a presidential decree seen by Reuters.

According to the two-page document, signed by Ashraf Ghani and expected to be released later, all freed Taliban must provide “a written guarantee that they will not return to the battlefield”.

Liberation is expected to start within four days and will take place in daily waves of prisoners.

“The process of releasing 1,500 Taliban prisoners will be completed within 15 days, 100 prisoners leaving Afghan prisons every day,” it said in the decree.

Peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban will take place in conjunction with these releases.

If these peace talks go ahead, the government will release an additional 500 Taliban prisoners every two weeks until a total of 5,000 Taliban are released.

This decree requires the Taliban to honor their commitment to reduce violence during this period and beyond.

Commanders of the Islamist movement have sent vehicles to recover these prisoners when the time comes and they have promised to honor a prisoner exchange agreement by handing over a thousand members of government forces to their side.

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Article is written and prepared by our foreign editors from different countries around the world – material edited and published by News Observatory staff in our US newsroom.