March 10, 2020 / 8:02 PM / in 22 days

Afghan President Ghani signs decree to release Taliban prisoners

FILE PHOTO: Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani, his first Vice President Amrullah Saleh (L) and second Vice President Sarwar Danish (R) taken an oath during their inauguration, in Kabul, Afghanistan March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail/File Photo

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani signed a decree to facilitate the release of some Taliban prisoners in Afghan jails, a spokesman for his office said on Wednesday.

“President Ghani has signed the decree that would facilitate the release of the Taliban prisoners in accordance with an accepted framework for the start of negotiation between the Taliban and the Afghan government,” Sediq Sediqqi, Ghani’s spokesman said in a tweet.

“Details of the decree will be shared tomorrow,” he said.

At least 1,000 Taliban prisoners are expected to released this week, five official sources said earlier, paving the way for opening direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban insurgents.

But the Taliban want the Afghan government to release 5,000 fighters.

Reporting by Hamid Shalizi in Istanbul; Writing by Rupam Jain; Editing by Sandra Maler

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