An Afghan minister suggested that Qatar host new peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government after the two sides complete the ongoing prisoner exchange.
Acting Afghan Foreign Minister Muhammad Hanif Atmar said that 12 countries have offered to host the talks, including Iran, Turkey, Qatar, Indonesia, Japan and Norway, knowing that the Taliban have a political office in the Qatari capital, Doha.
The talks were originally supposed to start on March 10, but were postponed several times as the fighting continued and the prisoner exchange process was delayed.
"The Taliban must now show goodwill to start, otherwise they will be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Afghans," Atamar said.
Peace negotiations depend on the exchange of prisoners, as it is expected that Kabul will release 5,000 Taliban prisoners, compared to about 1,000 prisoners from the Afghan security forces held by the Taliban.
A prisoner exchange was agreed in a historic agreement between the Taliban and Washington signed on February 29, which provides for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan by the spring of 2021, in exchange for the Taliban providing security guarantees, most notably the movement's commitment not to embrace militant groups seeking to launch foreign operations.
And US President Donald Trump does not hide his desire to speed up the withdrawal of the US military from Afghanistan.
American media said that the Pentagon prepared, among other options, for a possible full withdrawal by the end of this year, that is, in parallel with the US presidential elections.