UN Lauds Seize-Fire Agreement Between Afghan Govt And The Taliban Ahead Of Eid-el-Kabir Celebrations
The Secretary-General of the United Nations((UN), Antonio Gutteres, on Thursday welcomed the announcement by the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban to issue a temporary ceasefire.
This development is in order to enable the Afghan people to celebrate the Eid al-Adha holiday in peace.
The Secretary-General, in a brief statement signed by his Deputy Spokesman, Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman urged all parties concerned to seize this opportunity and “embrace an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process”.
“Only a peace settlement can bring an end to the suffering in Afghanistan”, Gutteres reiterated.
He further stressed the urgency of a lasting ceasefire for addressing the COVID-19 emergency and underlines the readiness of the United Nations to provide any assistance that the parties may require.
The Taliban had earlier this week declared a rare cease-fire in Afghanistan for the Muslim holiday, in a move that could renew momentum for talks with the Afghan government.
The negotiations are meant to end the decades-long conflict in Afghanistan and give the Taliban a role in governing the country.
In an online English statement on Tuesday, the Taliban declared a “halt offensive operations against enemy forces during the three days and nights” of Eid al-Adha, which begins Thursday.
Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani said it would observe the cease-fire. Ghani also said he would soon free hundreds of Taliban prisoners as part of a prisoner exchange, and that direct negotiations with the insurgents could start “in a week’s time.”
This is the third cease-fire that the Taliban have called over the past two years — before then, they were exceedingly rare.