Ashraf Ghani Assures Afghanistan's 'goal' Of Reaching Full Ceasefire After US-Taliban Deal

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Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani has said that the partial truce will continue “with goal” of reaching a full ceasefire after US-Taliban sign peace deal.

Written By Aanchal Nigam | Mumbai | Updated On:
Ashraf Ghani

As the United States and Taliban signed their peace deal on February 29 after countless negotiations, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani has reportedly said on March 1 that the partial truce will continue “with goal” of reaching a full ceasefire. This would further mark the end of the 18-year-long conflict with insurgents in Afghanistan. According to the international news agency, Ghani has said that in the peace accord which was signed in Doha, “there is no commitment to releasing 5,000 prisoners” and cited the “right and self-will” of Afghanistan citizens. 

Ghani said, “There is no commitment to releasing 5,000 prisoners. This is the right and the self-will of the people of Afghanistan. It could be included in the agenda of the intra-Afghan talks, but cannot be a prerequisite for talks”.

Read - Donald Trump Says Troop Withdrawal Begins 'today' After US-Taliban Peace Deal

United States President Donald Trump said on February 29 that the first withdrawals of the American troops from Afghanistan are starting “immediately” after the successful signing of the peace deal with the Taliban. At the White House conference when Trump was asked when would the drawdown begin under the US-Taliban agreement, he reportedly told the journalists, “Like Today, OK? Today. They'll start immediately”. 

The US signed a landmark deal with the Taliban on February 29 which laid out the timetable for America's full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan within the period of 14 months marking US' exit from its longest war. According to international reports, the accord is expected to lead the way for a dialogue between the Taliban and the Afghanistan government, and if it turns out successful, it would end an 18-year-long conflict. 

The deal was signed in a conference room of luxury Doha hotel, with Taliban fighter-turned-dealmaker, Mullah Baradar alongside Washington's chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad and the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. Reportedly, as Baradar and Khalilzad finally inked the accord, the people in the room shouted, “Allahu Akbar”. Before that Pompeo had also urged the insurgents to “keep your promises to cut ties with Al-Qaeda”. 

Read - 'Momentous Day': Mike Pompeo Hails Historic US-Taliban Peace Deal

Embrace a new future: Trump

According to international reports, Trump also urged the citizens of Afghanistan to embrace the chance for a new future. He further added that if both the Taliban and Kabul's government manage to “live up to these commitments”, they will have a “powerful path" forward in order to end the war in the country and bring American troops “home”. However, Afghanistan which has been excluded from the direct US-Taliban talks remained in an unclear position while also being gripped by a fresh political crisis and contested election results. 

But, the US Secretary of Defence, Mark T Esper also met with Afghanistan's re-elected President Ashraf Ghani and according to the joint statement issued, they both discussed the “progress in the peace process” after the successful implementation of the reduction in violence. Furthermore, Washington has reaffirmed its commitment with partners at Afghanistan as the conditions-based US-Taliban agreement is implemented. According to the official website, Esper and Ghani agreed that the US-Taliban peace deal marks the start of achieving a “lasting peace for Afghan people, and security and stability in Afghanistan”. 

Read - US-Taliban Truce: India Reiterates Support For 'Afghan-led, Afghan-controlled Process'

Read - Afghan Peace Deal: 5,000 Taliban PoWs To Be Released; US To Withdraw In 14 Months

(With agency inputs)

Image source: AP

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