US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Talibans deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar via video conference discussed the much-awaited intra-Afghan talks and the ongoing situation in Afghanistan, according to a spokesman of the group.
“Both sides talked about the inception of intra-Afghan negotiations and the status quo emphasizing that release of the remaining prisoners are essential for commencement of intra-Afghan negotiations,” Khaame Press quoted spokesman Suhail Shaheen as saying.
“The Secretary of State also welcomed announcement of ceasefire by the Islamic Emirate on the eve of the current Eid”, it added.
The talks come as both Afghan government and Taliban have released hundreds of prisoners following the signing of peace deal between Washington and Taliban earlier this year.
Meanwhile, on Monday, senior government official said that Afghan government is convening the consultative Loya Jirga, the grand assembly of Afghan elders and representatives, to find a consensus on the decision to release the remaining 400 Taliban prisoners who are accused of crimes including murder, drug trafficking and abduction, TOLO News reported.
Last month, Pompeo warned the Taliban against attacks on Americans, amid outrage over alleged Russian bounties to target US troops.
The US-Taliban deal signed in Qatar on February 29 calls for the release of up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners to open the way for intra-Afghan negotiations.
Earlier, the Taliban provided an account of the call, saying that Baradar told Pompeo that the guerrillas “do not allow anyone to use Afghan soil against the US and other countries.”
The Afghan government has so far released 4,600 prisoners on this list but has refrained from releasing the remaining 400.