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‘Opportunity for peace should not be wasted’

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KABUL: The EU Delegation, in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission based in Kabul, considers the ceasefire observed by the parties to the conflict during Eid as an encouraging first step. It provided the people of Afghanistan with a much-needed but only temporary sense of relief. The path to a lasting peace is through such confidence-building measures, not further senseless violence, EU said in a statement.

This opportunity for peace and stability should not be wasted. We urge the parties to agree without delay to a permanent and comprehensive humanitarian ceasefire, in line with the UN Global call supported by the vast majority of the international community, which can lay the ground for peace negotiations and enable Afghanistan to tackle other monumental challenges, in particular the Covid-19 pandemic and its devastating consequences on health and poverty.

In this context, we salute President Ghani´s courageous gesture of good will to resume the phased release of detainees.  The exchange of detainees should proceed without any further delay and we expect the Taliban to release their detainees as committed.

There is no reason to postpone the intra-Afghan Negotiations any further.  The Afghan people, supported by their foreign friends, are demanding progress now.  The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has indicated that it is ready for the talks to begin.  We call on the Taliban to demonstrate a genuine commitment to peace and accept the start of intra-Afghan Negotiations immediately.

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