Obama reportedly released three top Taliban leaders from Gitmo. (Press TV)
The United States has reportedly released three high-ranking Taliban leaders from Guantanamo Bay Prison in return for an American soldier held by the militant group.
The move is also considered as a big concession by Washington to persuade the Taliban to the negotiating table.
The three senior Taliban leaders are reportedly on their way to Qatar despite strong opposition from Afghanistan.
According to media reports, the released prisoners include Mullah Khair Khowa, a former interior minister, Noorullah Noori, a former governor in northern Afghanistan and maybe Mullah Fazl Akhund, a Taliban Army Chief of Staff.
Kabul says the prisoners must be sent directly to Afghanistan, stressing that their transfer to Qatar is a breach of Afghanistan’s sovereignty, Afghan laws or the Afghan constitution.
The Taliban, which is planning to open a political office in Qatar for peace talks with Washington, has recently been pressing hard for the release of its top commanders from US custody ahead of possible negotiations.
Analysts, however, believe that US President Barack Obama’s decision to release the top Taliban commanders will do tremendous harm to American national security and to his prospects for reelection.