US backs Afghanistan’s ceasefire offer to Taliban | Pakistan Today

US backs Afghanistan’s ceasefire offer to Taliban

  • ‘NATO, American forces will respect ceasefire’

WASHINGTON: The United States has welcomed President Ashraf Ghani’s offer of a temporary ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban to allow the people to celebrate Eid ul-Fitr without fear of violence.

“This ceasefire further demonstrates the Afghan government’s commitment to explore ways to end the conflict,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement issued by the State Department.

The statement notes that the ceasefire follows the Afghan Ulema Council’s call for the Taliban to end their campaign of violence against the Afghan government and the people. “The Afghan offer of a temporary ceasefire underscores its commitment to peace as both a national and religious responsibility,” Pompeo said.

“We stand with the Afghan people as they lay the foundation for an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process,” he said in the statement. In support of the Afghan government’s initiative, NATO’s Resolute Support Mission and US forces in Afghanistan will respect the ceasefire, as it applies to the Taliban.

“It does not apply to ISIS and al-Qa’ida, nor does it prohibit operations to defend Afghan and coalition forces from attack,” the statement adds. “The US and our international partners look to the Taliban to honour the ceasefire and demonstrate their respect for the Afghan people who have long called for a reprieve to the Taliban’s campaign of violence.”

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