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UK urges for immediate cessation of hostilities in Afghanistan

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KABUL: The British Embassy in Kabul has expressed its deep concern over the high levels of violence in Afghanistan, urging the warring parties to immediately end hostilities.

Following commitments to reduce violence in the lead up to intra-Afghan negotiations, we have instead seen an escalation of attacks across Afghanistan, in particular from the Taliban, UK embassy said in a statement on Sunday.

“We urge all parties to heed the UN Security Council Resolution 2532 which calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities, in order to reduce violence and to ensure access of humanitarian aid throughout the country is not unduly hindered. We are deeply concerned about the deliberate targeting of civil society members, religious figures and healthcare workers. This is completely unacceptable,” it added.

The statement furthered: “We call for a robust investigation into all incidents of violence where civilians have died or been injured, and for those responsible to be held to account. We also urge that humanitarian and healthcare workers are able to carry out their vital work, especially in combating COVID-19.”

As we move towards crucial negotiations, we urge the Taliban to listen to the clear demand of the Afghan people, demonstrate they are serious about peace, and reduce the violence, the statement said; adding attacks create a climate which encourages further insecurity, instead of building confidence that peace is possible.

We welcome the united approach the Afghan government is taking to peace and continue to urge them to act inclusively and represent all of Afghanistan’s people in negotiations. We share the Afghan government’s commitment to protect and build on the rights and freedoms gained by the people of Afghanistan over the past 19 years. Afghans across the country have articulated their strong desire to defend these hard-won freedoms. The Taliban must heed these voices, and must be ready to compromise, if a sustainable peace is to emerge. All efforts should be made to create the conditions for intra-Afghan negotiations. This means reducing violence now, the statement added.

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