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US, Pakistan Welcome Ceasefire Announcement

The United States in Monday welcomed the announcement by the Afghan government of a ceasefire conditioned on the Taliban’s participation.
US, Pakistan Welcome Ceasefire Announcement

In a statement issued by US Secretary of State Michael Pompei he said: “This plan responds to the clear and continued call of the Afghan people for peace.”
He said the “last ceasefire in Afghanistan revealed the deep desire of the Afghan people to end the conflict, and we hope another ceasefire will move the country closer to sustainable security. 
“The United States and our international partners support this initiative by the Afghan people and the Afghan government, and we call on the Taliban to participate. It is our hope, and that of the international community, that the Afghan people may celebrate Eid al-Adha this year in peace, free from fear,” he said. 
Pompeo also stated that the United States supports President Ashraf Ghani's offer for comprehensive negotiations on a mutually agreed agenda.‎
“We remain 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 meanwhile 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", Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Faisal said in a statement. 
 The spokesman said that the people of Afghanistan deserved this initiative. "Coinciding with the Independence Day of Afghanistan, the announcement has an even greater significance", Faisal said. 
He also said that Pakistan considered Eid-ul-Adha as an appropriate occasion for all the parties to make a commitment to a ceasefire. 
He said: "Pakistan calls upon all the parties to respect the holy tradition of sacrifice during Eid-ul-Adha and implement a ceasefire in hostilities - preferably for a more extended period of time". 
He said this would allow the people of Afghanistan to celebrate the great tradition of sacrifice in comfort and peace, during this holy month of Zilhaj and such steps would create an environment of enduring peace and stability in Afghanistan.
 This comes after Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday evening announced a three month conditional ceasefire starting Monday. 
Source : Afghan Voice Agency(AVA)
Monday 20 August 2018 10:17
Story Code: 169165 Copy text available
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