Khalilzad echoes Nato's call for Afghan peace
The US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, on Saturday welcomed NATO’s statement focused on “key next steps” for peace and stability in Afghanistan, including a humanitarian ceasefire amid COVID-19 outbreak in the country, reported TOLOnews.
NATO “urged the Taliban to reduce violence, called on the Afghan government to end the political crisis, and said all sides should move more quickly on prisoner releases,” said Khalilzad.
“How urgently and with what conviction the sides respond to these steps will determine whether Afghanistan moves forward or remains mired in war, poverty, and disease,” said US envoy.
“The US-Taliban agreement provides a historic opportunity for Afghanistan,” Ambassador Khalilzad said, “and our allies, indeed the international community, call on Afghan leaders to put their country and their people first.”
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation in a statement renewed its appeal to “all Afghan leaders and parties to urgently reduce violence and work for a lasting ceasefire.”
This comes amid increasing violence in different parts of the country.
Figures shown to TOLOnews from security officials and government sources reveal that 98 members of the Afghan security forces lost their lives n Taliban attacks in 14 provinces from April 18 to April 24.
At least 70 others have been wounded and more than 10 security force members are missing, according to the sources.
Analysts say the increase in violence is a result of uncertainty and delays in the peace process as well as the arrival of the spring fighting season.