“There can be no dispute or doubt over the prisoners’ identity now that we have handed over the list of prisoners to the US,” Shaheen said. “One of our conditions is that the prisoners be handed over in a less populated area or a Taliban delegation identifies the prisoners in the jail,” the spokesperson added.
Shaheen tweeted any prisoners “handed over to us ... will be accepted (only) after verification by our delegation”. “They should be the people whose names are in the list.”
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was set to make an announcement on releasing the Taliban prisoners, as well as the setting up of a discussion team later on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, American forces have started pulling out of two bases in Afghanistan, a US official said on Tuesday, the day peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban were due to start despite widespread violence and a political crisis.
The United States is keen to end its longest-ever conflict, and under the terms of a deal signed in Doha last month has said all foreign forces will quit Afghanistan within 14 months — provided the Taliban stick to their security commitments.
Under the accord, the US is initially supposed to cut its troop presence from about 12,000 currently to 8,600 by mid-July, and close five of its roughly 20 bases across the country.
Troops have started leaving one base in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province in the south, and another base in Herat in the west, a US official told AFP on the condition of anonymity.