DOHA, Qatar — Until it happened, few believed that it actually would. To get the Taliban and representatives of the Afghan government into one room for direct negotiations took months even after the insurgents agreed to it in February as part of an agreement with the United States. As the start of talks between the two Afghan sides faced delay after delay, diplomats who had arrived in Doha for the opening ceremony waited, repeatedly changed their flights, and some even left. The U.S. deal with the Taliban envisioned the exchange of 5,000 Taliban prisoners for 1,000 members of the Afghan forces in 10 days. The last hurdle was figuring out a face-saving solution regarding six Taliban prisoners that Australia, France, and even some in the U.S. government did not want released, as they were behind attacks that had killed Western soldiers.
Source: New York Times September 15, 2020 06:56 UTC