USA and NATO welcome Afghan ceasefire

In a statement published on the US Department of State’s website, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed the Eid ceasefire between the Afghan Taliban and the Afghan Government. The full statement said:

The United States extends its best wishes to the people of Afghanistan in celebration of Eid al-Fitr.  We welcome the ceasefire during the period of Eid.  The Afghan people this year are spending the Eid holidays with their families with renewed hope of peace.

We support President Ghani’s offer to extend the ceasefire and begin peace talks.  As President Ghani emphasized in his statement to the Afghan people, peace talks by necessity would include a discussion of the role of international actors and forces.  The United States is prepared to support, facilitate, and participate in these discussions.

All of Afghanistan’s people benefit from the end of bloodshed, and we have seen the overwhelmingly positive reaction from Afghans across society.  We have seen pictures of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan soldiers and police with Taliban fighters offering prayers for Eid side by side.  If Afghans can pray together, their leaders can talk together and resolve their differences.

Agreeing to begin peace talks is an expression of determination to create a unified Afghanistan in which all its citizens can live in peace and dignity.  The United States stands ready to work with the Afghan government, the Taliban, and all the people of Afghanistan to reach a peace agreement and political settlement that brings a permanent end to this war.

Previously, NATO-led and US forces had also announced that they would honour the ceasefire. The NATO website, in a statement, said:

NATO-led Resolute Support and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan support the announcement, June 16, by H.E. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani for an extension of the cease-fire with the Taliban and his offer to begin peace talks. The cease-fire is with the Taliban and does not include U.S. counterterrorism efforts against ISIS-K, Al-Qaeda, and other regional and international terrorist groups.



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