US sets terms for Taliban’s release from Gitmo

The High Peace Council said the US had agreed to the release of five Taliban leaders from the Guantanamo Bay prison if they promised not to return to the insurgency.

The US has agreed to free and transfer the Taliban prisoners to Qatar to meet their families there, but had some concerns, the council advisor on international affairs said.

Mohammad Ismael Qasimyar told Pajhwok Afghan News: “The US wants an assurance from the Qatari government that the men will not return to militancy. They will live with their families in Qatar and not exit that country.”

However, the Qatari government has not yet commended on the deal.  In early January, the Taliban announced they had agreed to open a political bureau in Doha for peace talks with Washington, a move supported by Kabul.

But earlier this month, the rebels said they were suspending peace talks as the US had no clear policy on parleys and had failed to keep the promises it had held out to them.

Qasimyar said the issue of the release of Taliban prisoners was the main obstacle to the opening of a liaison office in Doha, from where the group could negotiate with those actors involved in the Afghanistan war.