US swaps prisoners with Taliban

Joe Biden traded jailed ‘drug lord’ Bashir Noorzai for naval veteran ‘hostage’ Mark Frerichs

US President Joe Biden on Monday introduced the discharge of Mark Frerichs, a US Army veteran who disappeared in Kabul in 2020 whilst running as a civilian contractor. In the meantime, the Taliban govt of Afghanistan reported the go back of Haji Bashir Noorzai, who spent 17 years in American jail on fees of heroin trafficking. 

“Nowadays, we now have secured the discharge of Mark Frerichs, and he’s going to quickly be house,” Biden stated in a statement launched through the White Space. He thanked “devoted public servants throughout our govt and different spouse governments” for “years of tireless paintings” to protected the discharge of Frerichs, who were in Taliban captivity since January 2020.

Biden didn’t point out the discharge of Noorzai, most effective that negotiating the discharge of Frerichs “required tough choices, which I didn’t take evenly.”

In the meantime, the Taliban’s appearing International Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi introduced that Frerichs and Noorzai had been exchanged at Kabul World Airport.

“We welcome the discharge of Haji Bashir, an Afghan who spent 17 years in america,” Muttaqi instructed newshounds, including that this may “open a brand new bankruptcy within the bilateral family members between america and Afghanistan.”

Noorzai used to be lured to america, arrested on fees of heroin trafficking, and sentenced to existence in federal jail in 2005. The Taliban had outlawed the cultivation of poppies – from which heroin is extracted – prior to america invasion in 2001, and did so again after regaining energy final yr.


READ MORE: US to disburse $3.5bn of frozen Afghan funds

The United States-backed govt collapsed even prior to the final American troops had been out of Afghanistan, inflicting a frenzied evacuation from the airport in Kabul that ended on August 31, 2021. Biden has refused to acknowledge the Taliban govt and has seized the belongings of the Afghan central financial institution. 

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