Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special envoy for Afghanistan, said that although more prisoners are needed, recent releases and a relatively low level of violence may herald the start of peace talks between the government and the Taliban.
In remarks to reporters on Monday, Khalilzad, who helped mediate a February agreement between the United States and the Taliban, on withdrawing troops, said the Afghan government had released between 2,400 and 2,500 Taliban prisoners since the agreement, and the movement in turn released more than 400 detainees. .
"We are in a good position," he added, adding that levels of violence in Afghanistan have remained relatively low since the cease-fire on Eid al-Fitr.
Khalilzad also said, "We are optimistic that we are finally moving forward towards the start of negotiations between Afghans."
The US envoy confirmed that his country is trying to help solve the prisoners issue, adding, "We hope that the violence will remain low. So, with the release of the prisoners, we can start negotiations between Afghans."