US welcomes announcement of Afghan ceasefire during Eid-ul-Adha

KABUL: (HRNW) Top US officials on Wednesday hailed a three-day ceasefire proposed by the Taliban and agreed by Kabul, raising hopes that the long-delayed peace talks between the two foes could begin next week.

The Taliban declared that the truce would start Friday, the first day of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, and continue for the duration of the religious holiday.

The ceasefire offer, the second such truce proposal from the militants in just over two months, came soon after President Ashraf Ghani signalled progress in a contentious prisoner exchange that has delayed the start of peace talks.

A top US official who negotiated a deal with the Taliban in February to help withdraw foreign forces from Afghanistan by May next year hailed the ceasefire offer.

“We welcome the Taliban announcement of an Eid ceasefire and the Afghan government´s reciprocal announcement,” Zalmay Khalilzad said on Twitter on Wednesday.

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