Afghan president announces 3-month cease-fire with Taliban

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced a three-month ceasefire with the Taliban ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. Photo by Jawad Jalali/EPA

Aug. 19 (UPI) — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani declared a conditional cease-fire with the Taliban on Sunday in advance of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

Ghani announced the cease-fire would last at least three months to accommodate for the holiday, provided the Taliban also upholds the deal.

He also encouraged the Taliban to work with the government toward long-lasting peace, adding the cease-fire could be extended for as long as the Taliban is willing to cooperate.

“We call on the leadership of the Taliban to welcome the wishes of Afghans for a long lasting and real peace, and we urge them to get ready for peace-talks based on Islamic values and principles,” he said. “The Afghan government has removed all obstacles for a long-lasting peace through these unprecedented steps.”

The two sides reached their first cease-fire deal since the war began in 2001 in June, ahead of the three-day Muslim festival Eid al-Fitr.

Ghani ended the cease-fire after 18 days, while making an appeal to the Taliban to join a process toward peace.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg praised the decision and called on the Taliban to observe the terms of the cease-fire.



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