US envoy ‘not joyful about’ Taliban prisoner launch

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Media captionThe BBC’s Lyse Doucet interviews US peace envoy in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad

The US envoy for peace in Afghanistan has informed the BBC he was “not joyful about” a controversial deal to launch 5,000 Taliban prisoners as a way to safe historic peace talks.

However, chatting with the BBC’s Lyse Doucet, Zalmay Khalilzad added that “you need to make exhausting choices”.

Asked about studies of ex-prisoners returning to battle, Mr Khalilzad mentioned they “should not have any proof”.

Peace talks between Afghan leaders and the Taliban started in Qatar on Saturday.

This is the primary time the Afghan authorities has held peace talks with the militant Islamist group. The purpose is to finish 19 years of battle within the nation.

The launch of 5,000 prisoners was a situation, agreed between the US and the Taliban after their peace talks final yr, to start these negotiations.

The Afghan authorities was not concerned in making the settlement, and had issues about releasing 1000’s of militants. Last month, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani warned that the prisoners’ launch was a “hazard” to the world, AFP information company reported on the time.

“Until this challenge, there was a consensus on the desirability of peace however not on the price of it,” Mr Ghani mentioned.

But Mr Khalilzad denied that agreeing to launch so many prisoners – a few of whom are thought of extremely harmful – was “a mistake”.

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Image caption

The historic peace talks started on Saturday

“I admire the challenges the federal government confronted,” he informed the BBC. “I applaud them for making the tough choices that they did. That choice made at present attainable.”

The Taliban had been faraway from energy in Afghanistan by a US-led invasion in 2001.

The group has steadily regained its power to regulate extra territory than at any level since that point.

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