WASHINGTON, May 24 (APP):The United States on Sunday welcomed the announcements by the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to observe a three-day ceasefire during Eid-ul-Fitr, with the hope that it would build trust between the two sides.
“We worked hard to achieve this moment, and I hope that this respite from conflict gives Afghan people the space and security they deserve to celebrate Eid, while allowing the Taliban and the government the opportunity to take additional steps toward a peaceful future for their country,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.
The US, he said, remains committed to the implementation of the Taliban agreement and the US-Afghanistan Joint Declaration.
The US-Taliban peace deal, signed in Doha on February 29, calls for the full withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan within 14 months but that is contingent on a guarantee from the Taliban that Afghan soil will not be used by terrorists with aims to attack the United States or its allies.
Under its terms, the Taliban would also participate in an intra-Afghan dialogue.
“With the political crisis in Afghanistan resolved, I expect newly named Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Dr Abdullah Abdullah and President Ghani to seize the opportunity to remove the remaining obstacles that have delayed the start of intra-Afghan negotiations, starting with releasing prisoners,” he said,
Pompeo said that he expects the Taliban to adhere to their commitment not to allow released prisoners to return to the battlefield.
“Finally, I expect both leaders of the Afghan government and the Taliban not to escalate violence after Eid. This violence is counterproductive, deepens grievances, and prolongs the suffering of the Afghan people,” he said.
Peace is the consistent and overwhelming desire of the Afghan people, he said hoping that this ceasefire can build trust.
“Next, all sides should work together to build on the momentum of this historic Eid ceasefire to move with urgency to intra-Afghan negotiations,” Pompeo said.