President Ghani rejects peace deal’s prisoner swap with Taliban

A landmark deal between the United States and Taliban aimed at ending the US’s longest war may already be facing obstacles as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced that his government had not agreed to a clause set out in the deal.
Ghani objected to arrangements within the deal that would see the Afghan government release 5,000 Taliban prisoners as a condition for direct talks between the armed group and the government.
After 18 months of negotiations and nearly 20 years of war, the US and the Taliban signed an agreement set to pave the way for the withdrawal of all US and NATO troops from Afghanistan and a commitment by the Taliban that Afghan territory will not be used to launch attacks on other countries.

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In This Story: Afghanistan

Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south; Iran to the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north; and China to the northeast.

Occupying 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi), it is a mountainous country with plains in the north and southwest. Kabul is the capital and largest city. The population is around 32 million, composed mostly of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks.

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