NATO has welcomed the announcement of a three-day cease-fire in Afghanistan during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.
“I welcome the statements by the government of Afghanistan & the Taliban on a 3-day ceasefire over Eid. All parties should seize this opportunity for peace, for the benefit of all Afghans,” Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted late Saturday.
“NATO remains committed to Afghanistan’s long-term security,” he added.
In a message last evening, the insurgents made the surprise announcement amid escalating conflict and a shaky peace process, directing militants to stay out of areas under the government control, but said government forces could visit Taliban-controlled areas.
In a similar holiday truce two years ago, there were unprecedented scenes of fighters from opposite sides embracing each other and taking selfies.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani welcomed the announcement, saying that he instructed the military to comply.
The latest development comes on the heels of resurging violence in the war-ravaged country, which has dealt heavy toll on all sides.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.