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Foreign Missions In Kabul Announce A Joint Plea For A Truce With The Taliban.

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Hours after the Doha meeting failed to agree on a ceasefire, fifteen diplomatic delegations demand for a “immediate end” to offensives.

Just hours after a peace meeting in Doha failed to agree on a ceasefire, fifteen diplomatic missions and the NATO representation in Kabul joined forces 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.

Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the European Union delegation, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and NATO’s senior civilian representative all backed the united statement.“

The Taliban’s offensive is in direct contradiction to their claim to support a negotiated settlement,” said the joint statement.“It has resulted in loss of innocent Afghan lives, including through continued targeted killings, displacement of the civilian population, looting and burning of buildings, destruction of vital infrastructure, and damage to communication networks.”The Taliban has announced temporary ceasefires throughout the last few Eid holidays, claiming that it wants Afghans to enjoy their vacations in peace.

This time, no such notification has been made as the Taliban makes rapid territorial gains in near-unprecedented levels of combat across the country. As foreign forces prepare to exit after 20 years of fighting, the group has grown stronger, cutting a large gash across the country, taking hundreds of districts, seizing vital border crossings, and surrounding provincial capitals.

The 15 missions’ statement on Monday also decried human rights violations, such as efforts to close schools and media outlets in regions recently taken by the Taliban, which has previously disputed such claims.Meetings between Afghan politicians and the Taliban in Doha explored ways to establish a political settlement to end the violence, according to Abdullah, the chairman of Afghanistan’s high council for peace, who was present during the negotiations.

“We agreed to continue the talks, seek a political settlement to the current crisis, avoid civilian casualties, facilitate humanitarian assistance & medical supplies to tackle COVID-19 pandemic,” Abdullah said on Twitter.A Taliban statement late on Sunday night added:

“Both sides agreed upon the need for expedition in the peace talks, in order to find a fair and permanent solution for the current issue in Afghanistan as soon as possible. “Peace talks between the Taliban and Afghan interlocutors began in September of last year but have stalled.

Mohammed Naeem, the Taliban’s spokesman in Doha, also refuted allegations in the media that the group had agreed to an Eid truce in exchange for the release of its detainees.

Story by : Norvisi Mawunyegah