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Nicholson Instructed U.S. Forces to Honor Ceasefire with Taliban: Curtis

(Last Updated On: June 8, 2018)

As President Ashraf Ghani announced the ceasefire against the Taliban, the U.S has directed its forces to honor the ceasefire and stop operations against the group.

“U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Nicholson has directed U.S. forces to honor the ceasefire with the Taliban, though operations against ISIS and Al-Qaeda will continue,” said Lisa Curtis, the Deputy Assistant to the US President and Senior Director for South and Central Asia at the National Security Council.

The United Nations, NATO, Russia, UK and European Union have welcomed President Ghani’s decision and called it as a new door for peace and stability in Afghanistan.

“I welcome the announcement of a ceasefire made by President Ghani and the Government of National Unity. This is a positive step forward on the path to peace,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference in Brussels ahead of a NATO Defense Ministers meeting.

In a statement, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also expressed support for the Afghan-led ceasefire and said the Taliban should also embrace it.

“It shows President Ghani’s commitment to a genuinely Afghan-led and -owned peace process. The European Union fully supports this initiative of the President, which should be taken up by the Taliban,” Mogherini asserted.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has welcomed the week-long ceasefire and called on the militant group to reciprocate the temporary pause.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Guterres urged the Taliban to “accept President Ashraf Ghani’s peace offer to commence direct talks to bring an end to the long suffering of the Afghan people.”

He also expressed the Organization’s solidarity with the people and Government of Afghanistan and said that the UN “remains committed to supporting an Afghan-led peace process.”

In the meantime, The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed the Afghan government’s announcement of ceasefire with the Taliban militants.

Pompeo in a statement said the United States welcomes President Ghani’s offer of a temporary ceasefire and the Taliban to allow the Afghan people to celebrate Eid al-Fitr without fear of violence.

He said this ceasefire further demonstrates the Afghan government’s commitment to explore ways to end the conflict.

In another statement, the former President Hamid Karzai has also welcomed Afghan government’s decision of ceasefire and asked the Taliban to honour the step.

This comes as the United States announced to step up military operations against Islamic State militants in eastern Afghanistan during the temporary ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

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