During Eid celebrations marking the end of Ramadan, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered to extend the Afghan government’s June 11 ceasefire and start peace talks.
The United States supports such talks, said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “As President Ghani emphasized in his statement to the Afghan people, peace talks by necessity would include a discussion of the role of international actors and forces. The United States,” he declared, “is prepared to support, facilitate, and participate in these discussions.
“All of Afghanistan’s people benefit from the end of bloodshed, and we have seen the overwhelmingly positive reaction from Afghans across society,” Secretary Pompeo said. “We have seen pictures of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan soldiers and police with Taliban fighters offering prayers for Eid side by side. If Afghans can pray together, their leaders can talk together and resolve their differences.”
Secretary of State Pompeo noted that “[a]greeing to begin peace talks is an expression of determination to create a unified Afghanistan in which all its citizens can live in peace and dignity. The United States stands ready to work with the Afghan government, the Taliban, and all the people of Afghanistan to reach a peace agreement and political settlement that brings a permanent end to this war.”