Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia's King
Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia's King

Afghan-Taliban peace hopes rises after Saudi King's statement

ANI | Updated: Jun 24, 2018 05:54 IST

Afghan-Taliban peace hopes rises after Saudi King's statement .
Kabul [Afghanistan], June 24 (ANI): Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz's recent statement on Afghanistan-Taliban ceasefire has added to the growing optimism in Afghanistan that peace talks with the Taliban could resume .
King Abdulaziz on June 20 said, that he has followed with great interest the truce reached over Eid-ul-Fitr between the two sides .
The High Peace Council welcomed the king's and the Imam of Kaaba's statement and said it would help the cause . The Kaaba Imam also prayed for peace and stability in Afghanistan .
"No doubt, Saudi Arabia has influence over the Taliban and their foreign supporters, especially Pakistan . We hope that Saudi Arabia, as the center of Muslim countries, will put the necessary pressure on the Taliban so that Afghans will witness a peaceful future," Tolo News quoted Sayed Ehsan Taheri, the spokesman for the High Peace Council as saying .
Since Saudi Arabia shares cordial relations with Taliban, it can help establish peace in both the regions .
Taliban still has not officially showed any interest in peace talks with Afghan government .
NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg on June 21 said the organisation is not going to leave Afghanistan and that Taliban should know they will not win on the battlefield .
A negotiating group has also been formed in Washington which will work with the US embassy in Kabul .
NATO forces in Afghanistan had earlier said that the military pressure on the Taliban is important to establish peace in the region .
After the truce that lasted for the duration of Eid-ul-Fitr, the Taliban immediately took up arms again .
Ghani on June 17 announced a 10-day extension on government's ceasefire and also urged the Taliban to extend their three-day ceasefire . The Taliban, however, has not yet responded and instead continues to carry out attacks across the country .
This came in the backdrop of an initial truce which was observed by both sides over the Eid festival period .
The Taliban on June 9 announced a three-day ceasefire over the Eid holiday, two days after Ghani announced the ceasefire from the 27th of Ramzan (June 12) to the fifth day of Eid-ul-Fitr (June 19) .
It is the first time the Taliban has agreed to a ceasefire for Eid since the US invasion in 2001 . (ANI)

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