Afghan Gov’t Calls for Ceasefire Extension

The Afghan government has called on the Taliban to extend a three-day ceasefire set to end on Tuesday night to pave the way for better release of the prisoners.

The government has announced it would free 900 members of the insurgent group as a part of a prisoner swap under a deal struck by the Taliban and the United States in Doha in February.

“For better management of the prisoner issue, it is important to extend the ceasefire,” Jawid Faisal, a spokesman for the National Security Council said in a press conference.

Such an extension was key to avoiding further bloodshed and the Afghan government was ready for it, Faisal added.

He pointed out that the main victims of the war are the people, and that the continuation of ceasefire could accelerate the process of intra-Afghan talks.

Referring to the release of 900 Taliban prisoners from government prisons today, Faisal stressed that the future of the process depends on the Taliban.

The Taliban had announced a three-day ceasefire for the Eid al-Fitr holiday that ends the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in a move welcomed by both the Afghan and U.S. governments.

But the Taliban have yet to say if they are willing to extend the ceasefire after it expires at midnight.

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