On June 9, the Taliban announced a three-day ceasefire with Afghan government forces over the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which is set to begin at the end of this week. However, the Afghan group excluded foreign forces in Afghanistan such as NATO troops from the ceasefire.
The Afghan Presidential Palace was among the first to welcome the Taliban announcement. Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri stressed in an official statement that the government appreciates any move which ends bloodshed in the war torn country.
“Afghan government welcomes any move whether it is small or big which stops bloodshed of even the death of one Afghan. Afghanistan welcomes the ceasefire announcement by the Taliban,” Chakhansuri said, according to the Afghan TOLO TV.
From its side, the Afghan Ministry of Defense expressed its readiness to discuss the extension of the ceasefire if the Taliban remains committed to it.
“I hope this ceasefire will turn into a process and as a professional army we await the president and the Afghan leadership’s order. But this ceasefire is extendable, and it depends on the authority and will of the Taliban and it depends on whether Taliban will be able to make a decision on war and peace in Afghanistan independently,” said Tamim Asey, the deputy minister of defense for policy and strategy.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced a week-long ceasefire with the Taliban on June 7. However, the Taliban didn’t comment on the president announcement back then.
It is the Taliban’s first ceasefire since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Observers believe that the ceasefire will be a success, but doubt that it can be extended beyond Eid al-Fitr.