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Washington hails ceasefire in Afghanistan, waiting for talks between Taliban & Kabul

29 Jul 2020 RT - Russia Today

US officials on Wednesday hailed a three-day ceasefire proposed by the Taliban and agreed by Kabul. The Taliban declared that the truce would start on Friday, the first day of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

The second such truce proposal from the militants in just over two months came soon after President Ashraf Ghani signaled progress in a contentious prisoner exchange that has delayed the start of inter-Afghan peace talks.

US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who negotiated a deal with the Taliban in February to help withdraw foreign forces from Afghanistan by May next year, hailed the ceasefire offer. “We welcome the Taliban announcement of an Eid ceasefire and the Afghan government’s reciprocal announcement,” he tweeted on Wednesday. The top US diplomat in Kabul, Ross Wilson, also voiced hope that the two sides would begin talks soon.

The Taliban proposed the ceasefire after Ghani said his government was ready for talks next week. Ghani’s spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told AFP that Kabul would observe the ceasefire, but cautioned it did not go far enough.

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