Afghan president urges Taliban again for ceasefire

KABUL, Afghanistan

In connection with the International Peace Day, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday blamed Taliban for the bloodshed in the country by not accepting ceasefire offer.

In a televised speech, President Ghani said the raging violence continues in the country simply because the Taliban are not accepting the ceasefire.

“If the Taliban agree to peace, we [Afghan government] do not want continuation of the war event for a single moment, and I say it again that those are responsible for all the killing and bloodshed who are not accepting peace and ceasefire”, Ghani said.

Earlier this month, hours after U.S. President Donald Trump called off peace talks with the Taliban, Ghani announced ‘real peace’ was only possible if the insurgents agreed to a ceasefire and direct talks with the Afghan government.

The Afghan president, who was increasingly concerned over the proposed deal between the U.S. and Taliban, said the Kabul government praises the earnest efforts of its allies and is committed to working together with the United States and other partners to ensure honorable and enduring peace in the country.

“The people and the government of Afghanistan pursue a dignified and sustainable peace and are committed to putting any effort into ensuring peace in the country. However, the government considers the Taliban’s obstinacy to increase violence against Afghans as the main obstacle to the ongoing peace negotiations”, said a statement by the presidency on Sept. 8.

Earlier, the U.S. president said Taliban leaders and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani were separately coming to the U.S. to meet him at Camp David, Maryland, but Trump said he had canceled the meeting over a Taliban-claimed attack in Kabul.

“Unfortunately, in order to build false leverage, they [Taliban] admitted to an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers, and 11 other people,” Trump said in a tweet.

“If they cannot agree to a cease-fire during these very important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don’t have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway,” said Trump.

Trump’s announcement came days after top U.S. peace negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad said the U.S. had reached an agreement in principle with the Taliban.
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