UN Urges Cease-Fire in Afghanistan Amid COVID-19 Concerns

The U.N. Security Council is urging Afghanistan’s warring parties to heed the U.N. secretary-general’s call for an immediate cease-fire to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure delivery of humanitarian aid throughout the country.

The council issued a statement Tuesday after a closed briefing by U.
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N. deputy special representative Ingrid Hayden who said the country “appears to be reaching a defining moment” — whether its feuding leaders can join together “to engage in meaningful talks with the Taliban to achieve a sustainable peace.”

“The choice is made stark by the all-encompassing threat of COVID-19, which poses grave dangers to the health of Afghanistan’s population and, potentially, to the stability of its institutions,” she said in remarks sent to U.N. correspondents.

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