Stalled Negotiations Over Release Of Three Americans Detained By Taliban

Friday, 05/24/2024

Talks between US officials and Taliban representatives concerning the release of three American citizens have reached an impasse, according to sources who spoke to Afghanistan International.

The Taliban are reportedly seeking the release of a member held in Guantanamo Bay as a condition for releasing the Americans. The identity of the Taliban member in Guantanamo remains undisclosed.

These negotiations have stalled after multiple discussions between the CIA and Taliban officials, with the Taliban accusing the US of having reluctance to advance the talks.

In April, the Taliban had detained several foreigners, including two Americans, for allegedly violating local laws. The Taliban’s spokesperson confirmed that the US government had been notified of these arrests.

A Taliban official conveyed their readiness to continue negotiations but lamented the US’ hesitancy to engage meaningfully. “We aim to secure the release of our Afghan brother from Guantanamo, yet the US appears unresponsive to our demands,” the official stated.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesperson, emphasised that foreign nationals must abide by Afghan laws during their stay. He confirmed the detention of Ryan Corbett among others. Corbett, who had been working in Afghanistan for several years, was arrested in August 2022 in northern Afghanistan with his German and Afghan colleagues for alleged legal violations. His mission was to disburse salaries for a non-governmental organisation.

Ryan Corbett’s lawyers have appealed to the United Nations for immediate intervention to facilitate his release, highlighting the severe conditions he faces in detention and the risk of potential death.

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