25 October 2020

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Ceasefire Calls Grow Loader Amid Intra-Afghan Talks in Doha

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Tuesday, September 21, 20210
Kabul (BNA) NATO’s Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, Stefano Pontecorvo on Monday said that peace in Afghanistan is within reach as the talks currently underway in Doha are a historical opportunity to find a political settlement and resolution to the decades-old war.
Marking the International Day of Peace, NATO’s Pontecorvo said the start of peace talks, in Doha a week ago, was a milestone and ushered in a new phase in the peace process.
“Today, most Afghans have not had the fortune of experiencing their country at peace, still they are hopeful,” he said adding they were hopeful for a sustainable and lasting peace that ends violence and safeguards the human rights of all Afghans.
He said it was about upholding the rights especially for women, children, ethnic minorities; preserving the hard-won gains of the past 20 years; upholds the rule of law and ensures that Afghanistan never again serves as a safe haven for terrorists.
He also stated that NATO’s goal in Afghanistan was to support the country and help attain lasting peace and security.
Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry also issued a short statement on Twitter and thanked the country’s international partners for working closely with government in its efforts to bring about peace. “Let’s work together to make sustainable peace for all Afghans possible, urging Taliban to respect the wish of Afghan public for ceasefire,” their tweet read.
The High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) Chairman Abdullah Abdullah also issued a statement on the occasion of the International Day of Peace.  He called on the Taliban to end the violence and embrace a ceasefire. He said Afghanistan is at a historic juncture and that the ongoing talks are aimed at reaching a lasting agreement and peace.
“People are tired of the ongoing wars and conflicts. History has proved that war is not the solution to conflicts, and only talks can pave the way for a peaceful life,” the statement read.
On the occasion of the International Day of Peace, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged for a worldwide ceasefire, asking warring parties everywhere to lay down weapons and work for harmony.
This comes as President Ghani on Saturday asked Taliban to announce humanitarian ceasefire in the country to avoid civilian causalities.
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.

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