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UN welcomes Taliban’s ceasefire

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AT News Report-KABUL: The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has welcomed the Taliban’s announcement that partially reciprocates the Afghan government’s temporary ceasefire, the agency said in a statement on Saturday.

On 7 June, President Ashraf Ghani detailed the government’s ceasefire, which he indicated will start on the 27th of Ramadan (12 June) and will run through the end of Ramadan to the fifth day of Eid-ul-Fitr. The Taliban responded on 9 June, announcing a ceasefire of its own, and indicating it would be in effect for the first three days of Eid.

“The United Nations maintains that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, and welcomes these ceasefires as positive developments toward reducing the violence in Afghanistan and ending the war,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA.

The ceasefires follow the Afghan government’s call for peace talks without preconditions with the Taliban at the Kabul Process II conference in the Afghan capital in February 2018, along with calls by more than 2,000 religious scholars gathered last week in Kabul to denounce the ongoing war and urge all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan to embrace peace.

“We are hopeful that these ceasefires will serve as a stepping stone for the Afghan government and the Taliban to talk to each other in the interest of peace,” said Yamamoto. “At the same time, the United Nations urges the Taliban to reconsider the length of its ceasefire to match the Afghan government’s, and to broaden it to include the international forces honouring the ceasefire.”

The United Nations continues to stand with all Afghans in solidarity, and remains committed, along with the broader international community, to an Afghan-led peace process that will end the war.