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Russia Urges Afghan Warring Parties to ‘Cease Hostilities’

(Last Updated On: March 19, 2019)

Russia has urged the warring parties in Afghanistan to cease hostilities and display their “goodwill” to Afghan people and strive for “genuine” peace.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova in a briefing on recent development in Afghanistan has said that they have noted a considerable aggravation of the military-political situation in Afghanistan lately.

Zakhrova said that Taliban have staged a number of large-scale attacks on the military bases and checkpoints of the government forces in Afghanistan.

“In another sensational terrorist attack, the ISIS terrorist group has fired a barrage of mortar rounds against participants in a commemorative event in Kabul on March 7 and wounded presidential candidate Latif Pedram,” she said.

In turn, aviation units of the international coalition and Afghan government forces are trying not to reduce the intensity of air strikes in areas controlled by the armed opposition, and efforts are being made to maintain military pressure on the ground, she said.  

“We emphasise that all this is taking place in conditions of continued talks between the United States and the Taliban on ways to end the armed standoff and to establish a peace settlement in Afghanistan,” Zakharova said.

Referring to the reported progress in latest U.S.-Taliban peace talks, she said: “The media has even reported the conclusion of a preliminary agreement on the terms for withdrawing foreign troops from Afghanistan; however, this document’s paper version should yet be coordinated as well as approved.”

Zakharova also said “quite possibly” the warring parties in Afghanistan are trying to bolster their arguments at the talks by stepping up military pressure.

“We believe that this option has no future, and that it does not facilitate the attainment of agreements,” she said. “In our opinion, it directly serves to torpedo them, not to mention the fact that the continued war inflicts untold suffering on ordinary Afghans.”

“We are urging the warring parties in Afghanistan to cease the hostilities and to display their goodwill to the people of Afghanistan and their striving to achieve genuine peace,” she added.

It comes as the fifth round of peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban representatives was ended on March 11 in Qatar, where the two sides reached an agreement in draft on two issues including withdrawal of foreign forces and counter-terrorism assurances.

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