President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani signed a decree to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners ahead of the intra-Afghan talks, the ARG Palace said.

Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for ARG Palace said President Ghani signed a decree to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners from Parwan Prison with effect from 14th of March.

Sediqqi further added, President Ghani signed the decree as a gesture of goodwill and on the occasion of the launch of intra-Afghan talks between the government and the Taliban group.

Sediqqi further added that the Taliban prisoners will have to provide written commitments that they will not return to battlefield and the prisoners will be released after the completion of biometric process.

He also added that the government will release 100 Taliban prisoners on daily basis until 1500 prisoners are released.

According to Sediqqi, the remaining 3500 prisoners will be released in batches of 500 prisoners and each batch of prisoners would be released after every two weeks, on the condition that level of violence considerably reduces across the country.

The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday welcomed President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s announcement regarding the release of Taliban prisoners.

Pompeo in a statement said “We also welcome President Ghani’s announcement that he will issue a decree March 10 on Taliban prisoner release and the formation of a national team for intra-Afghan negotiations.”

President Ghani had earlier opposed with the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners which was included in the peace agreement between the United States and Taliban group.

Reacting to release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners ahead of intra-Afghan talks, Ghani said the release of Taliban militants should not be included as a prerequisite for the launch of intra-Afghan talks.

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