•   
  •   
  •   

World Afghanistan prisoner swap delayed, complicating efforts to restart talks with Taliban

22:15  17 november  2019
22:15  17 november  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Surgeons in Afghanistan earn $200 a month—and many are buying their own supplies

  Surgeons in Afghanistan earn $200 a month—and many are buying their own supplies Surgeons in Afghanistan earn $200 a month—and many are buying their own suppliesInside the hospital, Zamaryalai Ghafori, 34, moved calmly among the patients, helping to bandage a shrapnel wound on an officer before moving swiftly to dress the bleeding head of a young boy involved in a motorcycle crash. For all his calm, Ghafori and his small team toil daily against absurdly high odds. Long hours and low pay had recently driven another surgeon at the hospital to quit—a common occurrence.

The swap would have freed two university professors in exchange for three high-profile militants linked to the Taliban . The exchange was long sought by U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who has been shuttling between Pakistan and Afghanistan for weeks to restart peace talks with the Taliban .

KABUL —A planned prisoner swap between the Afghan government and the Taliban intended to restart peace talks between the insurgent group The Taliban has long refused to negotiate directly with the Afghan government. The swap would have freed two university professors in exchange for

KABUL —A planned prisoner swap between the Afghan government and the Taliban intended to restart peace talks between the insurgent group and the United States has been delayed, according to Afghan and Taliban officials.

a man looking at the camera: An image taken from a video released June 21, 2017, shows American teacher Kevin King. © EL EMARA TALIBAN/AP An image taken from a video released June 21, 2017, shows American teacher Kevin King.

The emergence of significant snags early on highlights the difficulty of getting the two sides back to the negotiating table. The Taliban has long refused to negotiate directly with the Afghan government.

The swap would have freed two university professors in exchange for three high-profile militants linked to the Taliban. President Ashraf Ghani announced the deal on live television last week, saying it would help bring “peace and stability” to Afghanistan. 

A birthday, a walk to school and a blast that tore an Afghan family apart

  A birthday, a walk to school and a blast that tore an Afghan family apart Dunya, 10, and Hadis, 7, were among the 12 dead in Wednesday’s suicide bombing in Kabul.He woke his two oldest children, Dunya, 10, and Hadis, 7, then ushered them out the door for their usual five-minute walk to school, picking up their friend Mustafa and their cousin, Sana, along the way.

KABUL —A planned prisoner swap between the Afghan government and the Taliban intended to restart peace talks between the insurgent group The Taliban has long refused to negotiate directly with the Afghan government. The swap would have freed two university professors in exchange for

KABUL —A planned prisoner swap between the Afghan government and the Taliban intended to restart peace talks between the insurgent group The Taliban has long refused to negotiate directly with the Afghan government. The swap would have freed two university professors in exchange for

Subscribe to the Post Most newsletter: Today’s most popular stories on The Washington Post

The professors, Kevin King, a U.S. citizen, and Timothy Weeks, an Australian, have been held by the Taliban since August 2016, when gunmen ambushed their vehicle in central Kabul and abducted them.

The militants who were set for release are Mali Khan, Hafiz Rashid and Anas Haqqani, a younger brother of the Taliban’s deputy leader and son of the Haqqani network’s founder. They are being held in a government detention center at Bagram air base. (The Haqqani network is an insurgent group closely allied with the Taliban.)

a person posing for the camera: An image taken from a video released June 21, 2017, shows Australian teacher Timothy Weeks. © El Emara Taliban/AP An image taken from a video released June 21, 2017, shows Australian teacher Timothy Weeks.

But days after Ghani’s announcement, none of the prisoners have been released and the government and Taliban officials are trading blame.

The Latest: Taliban say they freed US and Australian hostage

  The Latest: Taliban say they freed US and Australian hostage The Latest on the Afghanistan prisoner swap with the Taliban for American and Australian hostage held by insurgents since 2016 (all times local): 1:45 p.m. The Taliban say they have freed two hostages — American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks — in southern Afghanistan, ending more than three years of their captivity. 1:45 p.m.

A planned prisoner swap between the Afghan government and the Taliban intended to restart peace talks between the insurgent group and the United The Taliban has long refused to negotiate directly with the Afghan government. The swap would have freed two university professors in exchange for

KABUL — A planned prisoner swap between the Afghan government and the Taliban that was intended to restart peace talks between the The Taliban has long refused to negotiate directly with the Afghan government. The swap would have freed two university professors in exchange for three

Sediq Seddiqi, a spokesman for Ghani, blamed the Taliban for the delay, saying the insurgents “failed to observe the conditions” of the swap and caused “the disruption of the exchange process,” according to a tweet Saturday. Seddiqi did not elaborate.

A spokesman for the Taliban said the United States was to blame. Zabiullah Mujahid said the agreement fell apart when the Taliban-linked militants were not transferred to a second location before they were to be flown out of Afghanistan to Qatar, where the Taliban has an office.

“The issue is pending. The Americans should be asked why they have not transferred our prisoners,” Mujahid said by phone from an undisclosed location.

U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass declined to comment on the details of the proposed deal, but he tweeted his support for the delay and suggested it may be linked to recent attacks in Afghanistan that have killed civilians.

READ: Gordon Sondland's opening remarks at impeachment hearing

  READ: Gordon Sondland's opening remarks at impeachment hearing READ: Gordon Sondland's opening remarks at impeachment hearing

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Afghan government said that a repeatedly stalled prisoner swap with the Taliban had largely been completed on Thursday, potentially Now, the Afghan government is to sit down for what are sure to be complicated talks even as the American troop withdrawal is playing out.

Talks between the Afghan government and Taliban will take place in parallel with the release. As part of the agreement, the Taliban must continue its reduction in violence, and bar al-Qaeda or any other extremist groups from operating in areas under their control.

“We supported President Ghani’s announcement to release three #Taliban prisoners to promote #peace — and the decision to reassess their pending transfer following the attacks in #Logar and #Kabul on November 12 and 13,” Bass said in a tweet Sunday.

“Making #peace means making hard choices, but it also requires careful review of the conditions on the ground,” he added.

The exchange was long sought by U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who has been shuttling between Pakistan and Afghanistan for weeks to restart peace talks with the Taliban. Khalilzad was leading informal discussions focused on identifying confidence-building measures such as the prisoner swap that would be used to bring the United States and the Taliban back to the negotiating table.

Despite nearly a year of U.S.-Taliban negotiations and indications that a deal was imminent, the two sides have struggled to resume talks since President Trump declared them “dead” in September.

It is not clear whether talks moving forward would pick up where the negotiators left off or begin from scratch. A draft peace deal had included an agreement on the withdrawal of many American troops from Afghanistan in exchange for a Taliban pledge not to harbor terrorist groups.

King and Weeks were teaching English at the American University of Afghanistan, a private nonprofit institution in Kabul, when they were kidnapped close to its campus. Over the course of their captivity, concerns have mounted that their health is deteriorating. In October 2017, the Taliban issued a statement saying King suffered from heart and kidney disease and needed urgent medical attention. 

susannah.george@washpost.com 

Sharif Hassan and Sayed Salahuddin in Kabul and Haq Nawaz Khan in Peshawar, Pakistan, contributed to this report.

What’s next in impeachment: Judiciary Committee up next? .
WASHINGTON (AP) — After two weeks of public hearings, Democrats could soon turn the impeachment process over to the House Judiciary Committee. At some point in the coming weeks, the House intelligence panel will submit a report to the Judiciary panel, and then Democrats will consider drafting articles of impeachment on President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine and the administration’s attempts to block the investigation. The articles could cover matters beyond Trump’s efforts to push Ukraine to investigate Democrats, including special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, but no decisions have been made.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 0
This is interesting!