The Russian and Iranian foreign ministries said they hope Kabul’s initiative leads to the start of peaceful dialogue with the Taliban.
Russia And Iran Welcome Govt’s Ceasefire Extension With Taliban
The Russian Foreign Ministry on Monday welcomed Afghan National Unity Government’s (NUG) decision on the extension of the ceasefire with the Taliban group as did the Iranian government.
"We welcome the statement by President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on the extension of the temporary ceasefire announced by the Afghan government on the occasion of the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan," the ministry said in a statement.
This comes after Ghani announced a ceasefire from 27th of Ramazan until the end of Eid-ul-Fitr in order to encourage the Taliban to join the peace process. On Sunday he extended the ceasefire by another ten days.
"We express hope that the new initiative of Kabul will give impetus to ending the fratricidal war on the long-suffering Afghan land and will contribute to the beginning of a peaceful dialogue and the process of national reconciliation," the statement said.
The Russian foreign ministry said that the important point in the decision was that the "active international terrorist groups in Afghanistan", like Daesh, were not included in this ceasefire.
Iran has also welcomed the move and said a continuation of the ceasefire in Afghanistan would hopefully lead to peace.
In a statement issued by the Iranian embassy in Kabul, Bahram Qasemi, the spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, expressed hope that “the continuation of the ceasefire could pave the way for a fresh and constructive process for peace talks and peace and stability in the country”.
He expressed his satisfaction with the commitment of the Afghan government and the Taliban group over the temporary ceasefire over Eid-ul-Fitr. He also welcomed the extension of the ceasefire by the Afghan government and called for the continuation of the truce and the adherence to the ceasefire by both parties.
The Taliban also declared a ceasefire for three days over Eid but immediately resumed their fight after Eid.
Although government’s ceasefire is in effect, troops have been ordered to remain on the defensive.