Taliban officials say ceasefire talks within a week if all hostages are released

If all the hostages are released, the ceasefire talks will take place within a week, August 29 at 10:22 a.m.

As fighting between the government and the insurgent Taliban continues in Afghanistan, a senior Taliban official told NHK that if the government quickly freed all hostages, the fighting would be stopped and the idea of responding to the ceasefire talks within a week was made clear for the first time.
As for Afghanistan, the Trump administration and the Taliban signed a peace agreement in February, and about 13,000 U.S. troops stationed there were cut to 8,600 by last month, and the rest of the troops are being withdrawn.

Meanwhile, the Afghan government and the Taliban have released hostages to each other in order to realize ceasefire talks, but fighting continues in various parts of the country due to conflicts over how to proceed with the liberation, and according to the government, more than 2350 civilians were killed or injured between March and the end of last month after the peace agreement.

Against this situation, Shail Shahien, a senior Taliban official and spokesman, told NHK that he had released all government hostages based on the peace agreement so far, and that “the government has not complied with the agreement and the release of hostages has not yet been realized,” and called on the government to release the hostages as soon as possible.

He then made clear for the first time the idea of responding to the ceasefire talks within a week if the government quickly freed 320 people, including Taliban fighters who are said to have been involved in serious crimes.

In response, government officials say more than 20 people, including government soldiers, are still hostages and are calling on the Taliban to release them.

In Afghanistan, it has been six months since the United States and the Taliban signed a peace agreement, but the focus will be on whether the government and the Taliban will step up and discuss a ceasefire in the future.

In Afghanistan, security is unstoppable, with fighting continuing between the government and the Taliban after a peace agreement in February and many civilians being killed.

According to the Afghan government, the fighting was fought mainly in the north, where the Taliban is expanding its control, and from March to the end of last month after the peace agreement, more than 9,000 people were killed or injured, including government security forces and military soldiers.

In addition, there have been a number of cases of civilians being involved in fighting and terrorism, killing 750 people and injuring more than 1600.

In addition, as the spread of the new coronavirus, the United Nations has called for an immediate stop to fighting and not to interfere with medical practices, as doctors, nurses and other medical personnel continue to be involved.

On the other hand, regional organizations of the extremist group IS-Islamic State, mainly in the eastern part of the country, are also believed to be active, and on the 2nd of this month, a group claiming to be IS attacked a prison in Jalalabad and became a gun battle with security forces, killing 29 civilians, and other deteriorating security conditions.

Since 2001, when the United States began military operations in response to the terrorist attacks, the Japanese government has continued to provide assistance with the aim of “self-reliance of Afghanistan and not a hotbed of terrorism again.”

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we have contributed a total of 686.9 billion yen to date in areas of focus, such as security, agriculture, infrastructure development, and health and education.

In terms of funding, it has become one of the major supporting countries along with the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, etc.

In addition to investing 6,989 million yen to improve security capabilities, we also support anti-narcotics measures and the removal of landmines.

We are also making efforts to support the medical field by providing 958 million yen as a countermeasure against the new coronavirus, which is spreading.