Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has announced the release of 2,000 Taliban captives after militants proposed a three-day ceasefire on the occasion of the Muslim Eid Al-Fitr (Uraza-Bairam) Muslim festival of conversation, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
So far the conflict has killed 157,000, including 43,000 civilians.
Afghan authorities have said they are ready to resume peace talks with fundamentalist militiamen. Last month the two sides met to try to end the conflict, which has been going on for almost 20 years; talks ran aground on the issue of the exchange of prisoners.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement welcomed the announcements by the Taliban to observe a three-day ceasefire for Eid and the Afghan government to reciprocate.
“We worked hard to achieve this moment, and I hope that this respite from conflict gives Afghan people space and security they deserve to celebrate Eid while allowing the Taliban and the government the opportunity to take additional steps toward a peaceful future for their country,” Pompeo said.
He said that the United States remains committed to the implementation of the US-Taliban agreement and the US-Afghanistan Joint Declaration.