MOSCOW, June 17 (Sputnik) – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on all the parties to the conflict in Afghanistan to take steps to prevent efforts to ruin peace process in the crisis-torn state, the press service of the UN chief said in a statement.
On Saturday, media reported that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said that the country’s government and the Taliban radical movement had agreed to prolong the ceasefire regime.
“The Secretary-General welcomes the Afghan Government’s announcement of the extension of the unilateral ceasefire with the Taliban … The Secretary-General urges the parties not to allow those who try to derail peace efforts to prevail and condemns today’s attack in the eastern province of Nangahar targeting Eid celebrations. He extends his condolences to the families of the victims and wishes those injured a swift recovery,” the statement said Saturday.
The UN official added that peace settlement was the only solution to the conflict and called on Taliban to extend the truce.
The initiative of Kabul was also welcomed by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
“The Government’s extension of the ceasefire provides a clear opportunity for initiating a negotiated solution to the conflict. This opportunity cannot be missed … call for concrete steps to initiate direct talks between the Afghan Government and the Taliban to put an end to the suffering of the Afghan people. The Afghan Government’s peace offer, which has been supported by the international community, enables every issue to be discussed,” Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UNAMA head, said, as quoted by the mission’s press service.
Yamamoto, who is also the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, said that all the concerned parties should back the peace process.
On June 7, Ghani announced a temporary unilateral ceasefire with the Taliban for the period between June 11 and June 19 to mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Later in June, Taliban decided to join the declared truth.
Afghanistan has long been suffering from unstable political, social and security situation due to the militant insurgency, including that of Taliban and the Islamic State terrorist group (IS, banned in Russia).