Executive Intelligence Review

FROM EIR DAILY ALERT


Pompeo Supports Extended Afghan Eid Ceasefire, but Taliban Say No

June 18, 2018(EIRNS)—On Saturday, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani ordered the extension of the government’s first three-day ceasefire with the Taliban, over the Eid al-Fitr holiday which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. The government also offered to provide medical treatment to injured Taliban fighters; announced that 46 Taliban prisoners had been released as a sign of official goodwill; and said the government was ready for “comprehensive peace talks.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo backed the Afghan Eid ceasefire in a June 16 statement, the Washington Examiner reported, quoting Pompeo: “Agreeing to begin peace talks is an expression of determination to create a unified Afghanistan in which all its citizens can live in peace and dignity. The United States stands ready to work with the Afghan government, the Taliban, and all the people of Afghanistan to reach a peace agreement and a political settlement that brings a permanent end to war.” Pompeo continued, “We support President Ghani’s offer to extend the ceasefire and begin peace talks.”

Ghani announced in a solemn speech from his palace in Kabul, June 16, that his government was ready for “comprehensive peace and talks,” and that he is willing to discuss all Taliban concerns, including “the future role of international troops in the country.” The truce did not include ISIS.

Ghani’s announcement, the Washington Post reported, built upon the

“extraordinary success of the ceasefire’s first day Friday [June 16], in which thousands of fighters poured into cities and towns and joined civilians and security officials in celebrating the Eid holiday that follows Ramadan.”

Some local Taliban leaders said they supported extending the truce, but the Washington Post reported that the national Taliban leadership was split, and ended the ceasefire.

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