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Khalilzad stresses stepped-up efforts for ceasefire

Khalilzad stresses stepped-up efforts for ceasefire

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May 02, 2020 - 12:17

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad on Saturday once again urged the Afghan government and the Taliban to accelerate efforts for truce and the prisoner release process.

The diplomat tweeted: “Both the Talibaninfo-icon and the government need to accelerate efforts to release prisoners and lower violence, which is the fastest means to intra-Afghan negotiations and a comprehensive permanent ceasefire.”

He wrote the violence had generated a violent response from the Afghan forces. The result was a complex escalatory cycle -- inarguably a negative trend that must be reversed, he added.

“Similarly, ANDSF and Taliban casualties fell substantially in the first quarter. But the recent increase in the number and lethality of Taliban attacks endangers these gains.”

But civilians still suffered from IEDs, targeted assassinations and other consequences of the ongoing war, he lamented, asking all sides to act to end the violence to protect them.

pk/mud

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