KABUL: The United Nations Security Council has called for the Taliban to reciprocate without delay President Ashraf Ghani’s offer of a ceasefire.
The UNSC members welcomed the announcement by the Afghan government of a second conditional ceasefire with the insurgent movement.
In a statement, they reiterated their call upon the Taliban to engage in direct peace talks without any preconditions and without the threat of violence for an ultimate political settlement.
The Security Council members renewed support for an inclusive Afghan-led peace process for the long-term prosperity and stability of Afghanistan and backed the government’s efforts to that end.
They also emphasized the importance of holding peaceful, inclusive, credible and transparent parliamentary elections on October 20, 2018 and a presidential vote on April 20, 2019.
In addition, they stressed the need to promote the full and safe participation in the elections of women, as well as members of minority groups, including ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, both as voters and candidates.
Relevant actors were urged to address outstanding electoral issues without delay and condemned any attempts to impede the work of the electoral institutions to hold timely and credible parliamentary polls.
The Kabul Times