Afghan President Ghani extends ceasefire truce with Taliban

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Afghan President Ghani extends ceasefire truce with Taliban

KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday in an address to the nation ordered security forces to extend an already in place ceasefire with the Taliban and urged the rebels to reciprocate.
The president said many were skeptical about Taliban’s positive response to the ceasefire before it was put into practice, but all those doubts vanished once the ceasefire went into effect and assumptions made by many analysts and politicians proved wrong.
“We’re ready for comprehensive negotiations on all those issues and demands that have been put-forth, we are ready to discuss them at the peace talks. The Afghan government is ready to discuss issues of mutual concern with neighboring countries, and presence of foreign forces,” the president added.
Ghani said peace was an urgent need and as it turned out there had been a consensus between the Afghan government and the Taliban in the last 24 hours on peace. “It proved that we are all for peace. Fortunately, there’s also consensus among the international community on peace in Afghanistan.”
“A good example of this consensus is the joint Eid prayers performed by the Taliban and government employees in different mosques and Eidgahs. Both sides sang about peace and harmony and in Eid the environment during sermons was different than before, all the religious scholars and Imams spoke about the value, significance and importance of peace in Islam,’ the pesident noted.
“To respect the public’s wishes and to support their demands about peace, I am ordering the security and defense forces to extend the ceasefire from the fourth day of Eid. We will soon share the details of the proposed ceasefire with the nation.”
“We also request the Afghan Taliban to extend their ceasefire. During the ceasefire, we will provide medical assistance to the wounded Taliban, and will provide them any humanitarian assistance if needed. Taliban prisoners will also be allowed to contact and see their families,” the president said.
He said in the country’s north, northwest, west and south there had been a severe drought causing millions of Afghans to suffer and face monumental risks.
He said if the ceasefire continued, it would allow everyone to share their resources in order to help affected people. “So our desire for peace and prosperity will be truly realized.” – Agencies

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