After the Taliban announced a three-day ceasefire in Afghanistan on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha late on Saturday, the United States haswelcomed the Taliban’s declaration.
Regarding the Eid-ul-Adha celebrations commencing on July 31, acting US Ambassador to Kabul, Ross Wilson, said, “I welcome the announcements of an Eid ceasefire: Afghans deserve to celebrate the holiday in peace. I look forward to both sides fulfilling their commitments and moving quickly to intra-Afghan negotiations.” I look forward to both sides fulfilling their commitments and moving quickly to intra-Afghan negotiations.”
I welcome the announcements of an Eid ceasefire. Afghans deserve to celebrate the holiday in peace. I look forward to both sides fulfilling their commitments and moving quickly to intra-Afghan negotiations. #AfghanPeaceProcess
— Charge d’Affaires Ross Wilson (@USAmbKabul July 28, 2020
The ceasefire statement was published by the Taliban’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid over on Twitter and said that the Taliban will not stage any attack on ‘enemy’ forces, but will practice their right to defend itself against possible threats.
The announcement was instantly welcomed by the President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani, who said he has also instructed the Afghan Forces to comply with the three-days truce.
“I welcome the ceasefire announcement by the Taliban. The Afghan government extends the offer of peace.”
“As Commander-in-Chief I have instructed ANDSF to comply with the three-days truce and to defend only if attacked. Further details will be given in my speech tomorrow morning,” tweeted Ghani.
Earlier on Tuesday, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani announced that his government will release 600 Taliban prisoners the group had insisted upon as a pre-condition to opening peace talks that could now start as early as next week’s ceasefire.
The truce will start on July 31, marking the first day of Eid ul-Adha and continue for the duration of the religious holiday.
The Taliban have committed to reducing violence as part of a peace agreement negotiated by the US in Doha on February 29.
In addition to the mutual release of prisoners, the agreement was expected to launch the intra-Afghan talks and pave the way for ending the almost two-decade-long confrontation between Kabul and the Taliban.
(With agency inputs