Date :Sunday, June 10th, 2018 | Time : 20:31 |ID: 63682 | Print

Afghanistan announced Cease-fire with Taliban for Ramadan

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SHAFAQNA – As Ramadan approaches , Afghani President Ashraf Ghani has called for a week-long cease-fire with the Taliban, drawing wide support from the international community and NATO.    

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday announced a weeklong cease-fire with the Taliban to coincide with the holiday marking the end of Ramadan, The Christian Science Monitor reports.

A statement sent from the president’s office on Thursday says the cease-fire will begin on 27 Ramadan, or June 12 on the Western calendar, and last through the Eid al-Fitr holiday, until around June 19. It says the cease-fire does not include Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State group.

There was no immediate comment from the Taliban, who have steadily expanded their presence in recent years, capturing a number of districts across the country and carrying out near-daily attacks, mainly targeting Afghan security forces.

Gen. Mohammad Sharif Yaftali, the Army chief of staff, told reporters that Afghan forces would be on standby throughout the cease-fire and respond to any attacks. He also said the Army would continue to battle “international terrorists,” apparently referring to Al-Qaeda and IS.

President Ghani’s statement referred to a gathering of Afghanistan’s top clerics on Monday in which they issued a decree against suicide attacks and called for peace talks. A suicide bomber struck just outside the gathering as it was dispersing, killing at least seven people and wounding 20 in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.

The United States and NATO formally concluded their combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014, but the US still has thousands of forces based there in a support and counter terrorism role. The Trump administration has sent additional troops to try to change the course of America’s longest war.

At NATO headquarters in Brussels, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the move and called on the Taliban to lay down their arms.

NATO has led international security efforts in Afghanistan since 2003. It wound down its combat mission in 2014 but its Resolute Support mission comprises almost 16,000 troops from around 40 countries. The conflict has been at a stalemate for several years, and NATO’s best chances of leaving lie in the Taliban agreeing to peace talks and eventually joining the government.

According to IRNA, Iranian President Rouhani in a meeting with his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani on Saturday on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit, expressed support for peace and security in Afghanistan.

He described a secure and stable Afghanistan as required for regional security and development.


  Read more from Shafaqna:

Afghanistan faces economic timebomb as NATO war ends

Nato soldiers in Afghanistan have made the world a safer place: Ghani

PressTV/ Militants attack NATO convoy in Afghanistan East

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