US Chargé d’Affaires Ross Wilson in a chat with reporters on Sunday said that the Taliban is expecting the release of thousands of their prisoners under their agreement with the United States by mid-December.
“The specific provision relating to another 7,000 Taliban prisoners is contained in the US-Taliban agreement,” Wilson said.
“If you do the math, the Taliban expect under the terms of that agreement that there would be progress on releasing those prisoners by roughly mid-December. I have forgotten the exact date," he said. “I think it's our view, as far as we're concerned that all of the various parts of the US-Taliban agreement are interlocked with one another, intersect with one another and that you can’t just take out one and say this one has to be adhered to without other aspects being adhered to."
Wilson said that the US’s “strong interest is in the united consensus among leaders of the Islamic Republic that can help to make tough decisions as these negotiations go forward, give clear direction to the negotiating team in Doha and do it in a way that reflects the national interests as opposed to a narrow political interest, or a narrow ethnic interest or some other narrow set of concerns.”
This comes as peace negotiators from the Afghan Republic and Taliban teams held their second meeting about the agenda of the negotiations in Doha following their first meeting on Saturday.
The meeting comes after the two sides agreed on procedural rules for the negotiations, a development that broke the deadlock and created hope for the peace process that is seen as the only way forward to end the decades of conflicts in Afghanistan.
So far, the details of the meetings have not been made public by the two sides, but both sides have expressed optimism about moving forward to finalize the agenda of the talks.