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UN, US, Pakistan Welcome President Ghani’s Conditional Ceasefire

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(Last Updated On: August 20, 2018)

The announcement of a conditional three-month ceasefire with the Taliban made by President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday has been widely welcomed.

In a statement, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), welcomed the announcement of the conditional ceasefire for the upcoming Eid and called on the Afghan government and the Taliban to seize this opportunity to put an end to violence.

The statement added that the last truce between the two sides saved hundreds of lives and Afghans displayed their strong desire for peace.

“This momentum must be upheld and the strong popular desire for peace must not be betrayed,” the statement said. “The United Nations reiterates that it stands ready to play any role requested by the parties to the conflict to achieve a negotiated peace.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. Secretary of State welcomed the conditioned move by President Ghani and urged the Taliban insurgent group to participate.

In a statement, Pompeo said: “This plan responds to the clear and continued call of the Afghan people for peace.”

He added that the United States supports President Ghani’s offer for comprehensive negotiations on a mutually agreed agenda.

Pompeo noted that Washington remains ready to “support, facilitate, and participate” in direct negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

“There are no obstacles to talks. It is time for peace,” he said.

Pakistan also welcomed the decision for a conditional ceasefire.

The Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement it welcomed the Afghan government’s decision of a ceasefire during Eid-ul-Adha and hoped that it would create an environment which would help bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan.

“Pakistan fully supports all such efforts that contribute to achieving durable stability and lasting peace in Afghanistan. The people of Afghanistan deserve it. Coinciding with the Independence Day of Afghanistan, the announcement has an even greater significance,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday announced a conditional three-month ceasefire with the Taliban starting on Monday, calling on Taliban leadership to welcome the wishes of Afghans for a long lasting and real peace.

The Taliban group, which has repeatedly rejected an offer for peace talks with the Afghan government, has yet to react to Ghani’s offer for ceasefire.

During the Eid ul Fitr, the government announced a 17-day ceasefire while the Taliban observed a three-day truce.

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Islamic countries to meet on Afghanistan crisis on Dec. 19

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2021)

Pakistan’s foreign minister called on Saturday for a fresh effort to stop neighboring Afghanistan sliding further into crisis as he announced an extraordinary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) later this month. 

The meeting of foreign ministers from Islamic countries will be held in Islamabad on Dec. 19, with delegations from the European Union and the so-called P5 group of the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China also invited.

“To abandon Afghanistan at this stage would be a historic mistake,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi told a news conference in Islamabad, warning that half the country was facing the risk of starvation that could trigger further chaos.

“Instability could give way to renewed conflict, it could trigger an exodus of refugees,” he said.

There have been growing warnings of the humanitarian crisis facing Afghanistan since international aid was abruptly cut following the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) takeover on Aug. 15 and fears of disaster if the situation is not brought under control.

However, getting help in has been hindered by sanctions on dealing with the IEA, the U.S. decision to freeze billions of dollars of central bank reserves held outside Afghanistan and the collapse of much of the country’s banking system.

Pakistan recently agreed to allow 50,000 tonnes of wheat to transit through its territory from India to help Afghanistan but aid agencies have warned that much more help is urgently needed.

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Pakistan to let Afghan trucks transport wheat from India to Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2021)

Pakistan’s has allowed India to transport 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and life-saving medicines through Wagah as humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, the Pakistani government said in a statement Saturday.

“With a view to further facilitate Pakistan’s decision to allow transportation of 50,000 MT of wheat and life-saving medicines from India to Afghanistan via Wagah border on an exceptional basis for humanitarian purposes, it has been decided to also allow the use of Afghan trucks for transportation from Wagah border to Torkham,” read the statement.

“This demonstrates the commitment and seriousness of the Government of Pakistan to facilitate the proposed humanitarian assistance.”

The statement noted that the decision was conveyed to the Charge d’ Affaires of India on Saturday at the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs adding that “the Indian government was also urged to proceed quickly to take necessary steps to expeditiously undertake the delivery of the humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.”

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France, Europeans working to open joint mission in Afghanistan: Macron

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2021)

Several European countries are working on opening up a joint diplomatic mission in Afghanistan that would enable their ambassadors to return to the country, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday.

Western countries have been grappling with how to engage with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) after they took power in Afghanistan in mid-August.

The United States and other Western countries shut their embassies and withdrew their diplomats when the previous government collapsed, following which the IEA declared an interim government whose top members are under U.S. and U.N. sanctions.

“We are thinking of an organisation between several European countries… a common location for several Europeans, which would allow our ambassadors to be present,” Macron told reporters in Doha before heading to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Reuters reported.

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