Afghan president announces 3-month conditional ceasefire with Taliban
KABUL, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday announced a conditional three-month ceasefire with the Taliban starting on Monday.
"As we approach Eid-ul-Adha ... we announce a ceasefire that would take effect from Monday, the day of Arafa, till the day of the birth of the prophet (PBUH), Milad-un-Nabi, provided that the Taliban reciprocate," Ghani told a gathering celebrating the Independence Day.
The Afghan leader also called on Taliban leadership to welcome the wishes of Afghans for a long lasting and real peace.
"We urge the Taliban leadership to get ready for peace talks based on Islamic values and principles," Ghani said, adding that the Afghan government has removed "all obstacles for a long lasting peace through these unprecedented steps."
However, the Taliban group, which has repeatedly rejected an offer for peace talks with the Afghan government, has yet to react to President Ghani's offer for ceasefire.
In June, the Afghan government announced a 17-day ceasefire to encourage the Taliban group to support the national reconciliation process.
Reciprocating the government step, the Taliban announced a three-day truce during Eid-ul-Fitr which marked end of fasting month.