Taliban meets Afghan officials in Saudi Arabia ahead of election

By REUTERS
September 28, 2018 10:04
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PESHAWAR - Representatives from the Taliban met an Afghan government delegation in Saudi Arabia this week to discuss security ahead of next month's parliamentary elections and a limited prisoner release, three Taliban officials said.

The meeting comes less than a month before voters are due to go to the polls on Oct. 20 to elect a new Afghan parliament, a process which has been hampered by fears of attacks on polling stations and campaign rallies.



Ensuring the election passes off smoothly and without violence has been a top priority for the Afghan government and its international partners.



"They requested us to help them conduct peaceful elections," said one of the Taliban leaders.



"The Afghan delegation has agreed with us on the release of prisoners," he said, adding that some prisoners facing minor charges had already been released and officials had divided up others into three categories, depending on their importance, for future release.



Both President Ashraf Ghani's office and the US State Department declined to comment. No comment was available from Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban's main spokesman.

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