Afghan president offers Taliban new provisional ceasefire | 2018-08-21 |

Afghan president offers Taliban new provisional ceasefire

US welcomes the latest offer

    21 August, 2018 12:00 AM printer

KABUL: Afghanistan was waiting Monday for a Taliban response to President Ashraf Ghani’s proposal of a three-month ceasefire, an offer welcomed by the United States and NATO after nearly 17 years of war, reports AFP.

Ghani unveiled the government’s latest gambit during an Independence Day address late Sunday, saying security forces would observe the truce beginning this week—but only if the militants reciprocated.

The move followed an extraordinarily violent week in Afghanistan that saw that Taliban storm the provincial capital of Ghazni—just a two-hour drive from Kabul—and press the fight against security forces across the country, with estimates suggesting hundreds of people may have been killed.

The president said his office had cleared “all obstacles” to peace with the announcement following consultations with religious scholars, political parties and civil society groups.

Meanwhile, the United States on Sunday welcomed the announcement by Kabul of a provisional ceasefire with the Taliban, saying the plan “responds to the clear and continued call of the Afghan people.”

The announcement by President Ashraf Ghani followed a bloody week of fighting across Afghanistan which saw the Taliban launch a massive assault against the provincial capital Ghazni.

It came after a brief, unprecedented ceasefire earlier in June.

“The last ceasefire in Afghanistan revealed the deep desire of the Afghan people to end the conflict, and we hope another ceasefire will move the country closer to sustainable security,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.