MOSCOW, July 20. /TASS/. No contacts on Afghanistan are currently being planned in any format as the process of prisoner exchange between Kabul and the Taliban radical movement (outlawed in Russia as a terrorist organization - TASS) has stalled, Russian president’s special envoy for Afghanistan and director of the Russian foreign ministry’s second Asia department, Zamir Kabulov, told TASS on Monday.
"No such plans so far, as the prisoner exchange process is being protracted. Any contacts are senseless unless it [prisoner exchange] is over," he said.
The United States and the Taliban movement signed a peace deal on February 29 in Qatar’s capital city Doha. Under the terms of the deal, Washington and its allies commit to withdrawing their forces from Afghanistan in next 14 months. The Taliban, in turn, undertakes not to use Afghanistan’s territory to stage actions jeopardizing the United States’ and its allies’ security. Before the launch of intra-Afghan talks that were initially supposed to begin on March 10, up to 5,000 Taliban supporters were to be released and the Taliban was to release up to 1,000 people it keeps prisoner as a trust-building measure.
However US special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said on June 11 that Kabul had released more than 3,000 Taliban supporters and the Taliban had released more than 300 Afghan soldiers and policemen.