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World

Khalilzad urges Taliban to agree to ceasefire until coronavirus crisis is over

Khalilzad says the war on COVID-19 makes it urgent and will also aid the peace process including getting intra-Afgh
26 Apr, 2020
  • Khalilzad says the war on COVID-19 makes it urgent and will also aid the peace process including getting intra-Afghan negotiations underway.
  • The well-being of the Afghan people and the country itself depend on all parties devoting their full energies to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the shared enemy: US special representative.

(Karachi) US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has said that Ramazan offers the Taliban an opportunity to embrace a humanitarian ceasefire to reduce violence and suspend offensive military operations until the health crisis is over.

In a series of tweets on Sunday, he said both Afghanistan and the United States must also accelerate the release of prisoners. "The war on COVID-19 makes it urgent and will also aid the peace process including getting intra-Afghan negotiations underway," he remarked.

https://twitter.com/US4AfghanPeace/status/1254250224782053384

Khalilzad maintained,  "Ramazan offers Afghan leaders, President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah, the opportunity to put the interest of the country ahead of their own."

https://twitter.com/US4AfghanPeace/status/1254250222659801088

He said the well-being of the Afghan people and the country itself depend on all parties devoting their full energies to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the shared enemy.

On April 12, Taliban released 20 prisoners of the Afghan government who were handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Kandahar. The Afghan government has so far released more than 300 Taliban prisoners.

As per the US-Taliban peace deal signed on February 29, 2020, the Afghan government would release 5,000 Taliban prisoners, while the armed group would free 1,000 Afghan prisoners of the Kabul administration prior to the start of intra-Afghan negotiations.

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