Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced in a tweet that he has accorded on a three-day cease-fire with the Taliban ahead of a major Islamic holiday, Eid al-Fitr, that begins Sunday to mark the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.
“I welcome the ceasefire announcement by the Taliban. The Afghan government extends the offer of peace. As Commander in Chief, I have instructed ANDSF to comply with the three-days truce and to defend only if attacked. Further details will be given in my speech tomorrow morning,” Ghani tweeted.
The Taliban’s cease-fire announcement follows an Eid al-Fitr message from the Taliban leader which said the Taliban was committed to the peace deal, was not seeking to monopolize power and promised to guarantee the rights of women and men under an Islamic system.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the announcement and urged all parties “to seize the opportunity and embrace an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
Guterres, who called for a cease-fire in all global conflicts on March 23 to tackle the coronavirus pandemic stressed that “only a peace settlement can bring an end to the suffering in Afghanistan” and said that “the United Nations is committed to supporting the people and government of Afghanistan in this important endeavor,” the spokesman said.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has announced it would make any possible effort to build regional consensus around a humanitarian cease-fire in Afghanistan.