Saturday, 29 January 2022

US backs NATO call for Afghan cease-fire over COVID-19

AFP –  File Photo

The US’ special envoy backed NATO’s call for a humanitarian cease-fire in Afghanistan to help the country deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and move towards lasting peace.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad welcomed the NATO statement “focused on key next steps … necessary for peace and stability in Afghanistan.”

“They [NATO] reiterated the need for a humanitarian ceasefire to help manage COVID-19 outbreaks, urged the Taliban to reduce violence, called on the Afghan govt to end the political crisis, and said all sides should move more quickly on prisoner releases,” he said in a series of tweets.

The special envoy said the US and international community want “Afghan leaders to put their country and their people first.”

“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,” he said.

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