Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban’s office in Qatar, said in a Twitter post on Tuesday that Pompeo and Akhund had discussed the issue of the 400 Taliban prisoners allegedly still held by the Afghan government as well.
“Both sides talked about the inception of intra-Afghan negotiations” and they “emphasized that the release of the remaining prisoners are essential for commencement of intra-Afghan negotiations,” the Taliban spokesman wrote.
The prisoner swap has been an Afghan government obligation under a deal between the United States and the Taliban that was struck in February. Kabul was excluded from the talks, and the obligation was imposed on it.
The exchange has been regarded as a first step toward broader talks between the government and the Taliban. Its implementation has faced hurdles since the deal was signed in February.