The Afghan government and the Taliban have completed exchange of prisoners and are set to start intra-Afghan negotiations to decide a future political roadmap. “The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has received our commandos held hostage by Taliban, after which the Gov’t released the remaining 400 convicts, except the few for which our partners have reservations,” Javid Faisal, spokesman for the Afghan National Security Council said on twitter. Faisal did not offer comments as to who had not been released, however, Afghan officials earlier said France and Australia had raised objections at the release of at least 6 prisoners, who were blamed for killing of their nationals in Afghanistan. He said diplomatic efforts are ongoing to resolve the issue of few prisoners amid reporters that they could be flown to Qatar where they will remain in detention. Faisal said Kabul expects direct talks with the Taliban to start promptly.A Taliban official confirmed to Daily Times on Thursday that almost all Taliban prisoners have been released. Taliban have not officially commented on the latest developments on the prisoner release, which was the main hurdle in the way of the commencement of intra-Afghan negotiations. Taliban had earlier hinted at starting the dialogue within a week after 5,000 prisoners were released in accordance with their agreement with the US signed in February.Intra-Afghan negotiations were supposed to start on March 10 under the Taliban-US agreement but could not start due to delay in the prisoner release. In Kabul, Afghan officials said departure of the government’s negotiation team was delayed most probably until Friday. The 21-member team was scheduled to leave for Qatar on Thursday, the venue for the opening of the talks. No date has yet been decided for the negotiations, but the process could start in a couple of days.Mohammad Masoum Stanikzai, Afghanistan’s former spy chief is leading the delegation. The Taliban’s 20-member negotiation team will be led by Sher Abbas Stanekzai, who secured the landmark deal for the Taliban on withdrawal of all foreign forces. Afghan media has reported that an Afghan government’s team has already arrived in Qatar to review arrangements for the talks. The government team met President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday, who assured them of strong support of the people and government of Afghanistan.President Ghani stressed that the government has delivered on all its commitments in the peace process and met the expectations of the international community, adding release of the Taliban prisoners is a clear demonstration of the government’s commitment for peace, according to a statement posted on the president’s website.Ghani said that the main goal of the negotiating delegation is to fundamentally end the violence, because the Afghans aspire for a sustainable peace in the country where values of a modern society are upheld.