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Khalilzad condemns Taliban ‘Reckless’ Offensive Announcement

(Last Updated On: April 13, 2019)

The U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said that the Taliban’s spring offensive announcement is “reckless” and is in “indifference” to the demands of Afghans for peace.

Khalilzad said in a tweet on Friday that the Taliban announcement is “irresponsible” and that would increase “violence” in the country as the Afghan government has also announced a security plan.

“The Afghan people have clearly voiced their desire for peace,” he added.

Khalilzad said, through this announcement, the Taliban leaders demonstrate their “indifference” to the demands of Afghans across the country.

“The call for more fighting will not advance peace efforts. If executed, it will only yield more suffering and thousands more causalities,” he noted.

“At a time when all Afghans should come together in talks to determine a common future, a call for fighting suggests the Taliban are stuck in the ways of the past. Many Talibs including fighters and some leaders oppose this announcement,” he added.

All Afghans should condemn this announcement, Khalilzad said.

“On behalf of the United States, I condemn this announcement of a spring offensive, and call on Pakistan, Qatar, and other nations that want peace in Afghanistan to do the same,” he underscored.

“The U.S. and our international partners will stand with Afghan security forces to continue our effort to end the war in Afghanistan, at the same time as we seek to bring parties to the table to negotiate peace,” Khalilzad reiterated.

“The killing of Afghans must stop. All sides must end unnecessary violence, and instead engage in Intra-Afghan dialogue which leads to negotiations on a political settlement and a roadmap to end the war this year. Afghan people want peace, and the US stands with them,” he said.

The statement comes hours after the Taliban militants group announced the launch of Al-Fath “the Victory” spring offensive of Friday.

At the meantime, the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission also reaffirmed its full support to Afghan National Defense and Security Forces hours after Taliban announced.

“The Taliban made an announcement this morning (Friday) that they choose violence over peace. We assembled the Resolute Support leadership together and Gen. Miller said the Taliban have made it clear that they have ignored the will of the people and have guaranteed more violence,” Dave Butler, a spokesman for the U.S. forces said.

“We have a tremendous opportunity for peace, we are closer to peace than we have ever been for 40 years,” Butler further added.

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