SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 3 August 2021, Tuesday |

Foreign missions in Kabul issue joint call for Taliban ceasefire

Just hours after a peace meeting in Doha failed to agree on a ceasefire, fifteen diplomatic missions and the NATO representation in Kabul joined hands on Monday to urge the Taliban to halt military offensives across Afghanistan.

Over the previous two days, a top delegation of Afghan authorities met with the Taliban’s political leadership in Qatar, but a Taliban statement released late Sunday made no mention of a halt to Afghanistan’s escalating violence.

“This Eid al-Adha, the Taliban should lay down their weapons for good and show the world their commitment to the peace process,” the 15 missions and the NATO representative said, referring to Tuesday’s Muslim holiday in Afghanistan.

The joint statement was supported by Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the European Union delegation, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Britain and the United States and NATO’s senior civilian representative.

Over the last few Eid holidays, the Taliban have called temporary ceasefires, saying they wanted to let Afghans spend them in peace.

This time there has been no such announcement, as the Taliban make swift territorial gains in near-unprecedented levels of fighting nationwide.

The insurgents have been emboldened as foreign forces near a complete withdrawal after 20 years of fighting.

Monday’s statement also condemned rights violations, such as efforts to shut schools and media outfits reported by media in areas recently captured by the Taliban, which has previously denied such assertions.