US Secretly Releasing Taliban Fighters (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Rachel Hirshfeld 05/08/12)
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The United States has been secretly releasing captured Taliban
fighters from a detention center in Afghanistan as part of
negotiations with insurgents to curb ongoing violence in the country,
the Washington Post reported Monday.
The "strategic release" program of high-level detainees is designed
to give the US a bargaining chip in some areas of Afghanistan where
international forces struggle to exercise control, the report said.
The deal stipulates that the fighters must promise to give up
violence, however there is little to stop them resuming attacks
against Afghan and American troops.
"Everyone agrees they are guilty of what they have done and should
remain in detention. Everyone agrees that these are bad guys. But the
benefits outweigh the risks," an American official told the Post.
In a visit to Afghanistan last week, President Barack Obama confirmed
that the US was pursuing peace talks with the Taliban.
"We have made it clear that they [the Taliban] can be a part of this
future if they break with Al Qaeda, renounce violence, and abide by
Afghan laws. Many members of the Taliban -- from foot soldiers to
leaders -- have indicated an interest in reconciliation. A path to
peace is now set before them," Obama said.
A stumbling block in the US-Taliban peace talks has been the US
refusal to approve the transfer of five Taliban detainees from
Guantanamo Bay to Qatar, which the Taliban says is necessary for
negotiations to proceed.
During his visit, Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed a
partnership deal that charts a 10-year relationship between the US
and Afghanistan once the majority of American and foreign forces pull
out of the country in 2014. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 05/08/12)
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