UPDATED 12:15 PM PT — Sunday, May 24, 2020
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has welcomed the latest ceasefire between terror group Taliban and the Afghan government. On Sunday, Pompeo praised officials for announcing a three-day armistice for the duration of the Islamic holiday Eid.
According to the secretary, both must advance talks to achieve a sustainable peace for the sake of the Afghan people.
I welcome the announcements by the Taliban and the Afghan government of a three-day Eid ceasefire. This presents a tremendous opportunity for Afghans to overcome other obstacles and move urgently to intra Afghan negotiations that end the war.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 24, 2020
The Taliban offered the ceasefire Saturday and the Afghan government reciprocated the following day. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has confirmed the armistice will be accompanied by a prisoner swap.
“I hereby announce that there will be an acceleration in the releasing process of the Taliban prisoners, and serious measures will be taken in this regard,” stated Ghani. “In the meantime, I call on the Taliban to release our security and defense prisoners from their captivity as soon as possible.”
Officials pointed out the Taliban killed at least 146 civilians during the most recent Islamic holiday of Ramadan and will be approaching the latest armistice with caution.