Six prisoners sought by Taliban now on flight to Doha: Afghan government sources

KABUL (Reuters) – Six prisoners sought by the Taliban left Kabul on a flight to Doha on Thursday evening, paving the way for long-awaited peace talks to begin, two government sources told Reuters.

The prisoners, who are accused of insider attacks on Afghan forces and whose release was objected to by Western powers including France and Australia, are to be kept under supervision in Qatar’s capital where United States-brokered peace talks will also initially take place.

Three government and one diplomatic source said the Afghan government negotiating team was planning to fly to Doha on Friday and talks were expected to begin this weekend after months of delays.

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