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Afghan Taliban prepare for peace talks with US -The Asian Age


The Taliban are preparing to send a delegation for further talks with US officials about ending the conflict in Afghanistan, two officials involved with the process said on Tuesday, adding that the meeting could address a possible prisoner swap.
The two officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Taliban leaders were meeting to discuss the makeup of the three- or four-person delegation and the subjects to be discussed.

They said the Taliban would like to discuss an exchange of prisoners and could hold another meeting soon if the United States showed seriousness in talks by releasing prisoners. "This meeting will determine the future talks and we would see if the US is serious and sincere in negotiation," one of the officials involved said.

"We would hand over a list of prisoners languishing in jails across Afghanistan. If they set free our prisoners then we would meet again for another great cause."

If confirmed, the meeting would follow an earlier round of talks in Doha in July, where Taliban officials met Alice Wells, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia at the US State Department.

The Taliban delegation at the planned upcoming meeting would be led by the head of the group's Qatar-based political office, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai, the officials said.

-Reuters, Peshawar