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US forces to honor week-long ceasefire with the Taliban

U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson, Resolute Support and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan commander, walks with Afghan leaders in Uruzgan province in preparation for a meeting regarding security of provincial district voting registration centers in Tarin Kowt. (Resolute Support)
June 07, 2018

U.S.-Forces Afghanistan announced Thursday that it will honor a week-long ceasefire with the Taliban that was announced by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

“We will adhere to the wishes of Afghanistan for the country to enjoy a peaceful end to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and support the search for an end to the conflict,” said Gen. John Nicholson, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and the NATO-led Resolute Support commander.

According to a statement from the Afghan president’s office, the ceasefire will begin June 12 and end June 19.

Operations against the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups will not cease.

“President Ghani’s peace offer was universally supported by the international community and the ceasefire represents another bold initiative for peace, and is for the benefit of all Afghans,” Nicholson added.

Gen. Mohammad Sharif Yaftali, the army chief of staff, said that Afghan forces would be on standby in the event of an attack by the Taliban during the ceasefire.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that he hopes the Taliban will honor the ceasefire.

“The United States and our international partners look to the Taliban to honor the ceasefire and demonstrate their respect for the people of Afghanistan who have long called for a reprieve to the Taliban’s campaign of violence,” he said.

The U.S. has said it is open to Afghan-led peace talks with the Taliban due to some factions being interested in peace. However, Taliban insurgents have continued to carry out attacks in recent months, mostly against Afghan security forces.