Iran hails extension of ceasefire in Afghanistan
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi has welcomed the extension of a ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban, calling on the sides to respect the truce in order to establish stability and peace in the war-stricken country.
According to Press TV, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced on Saturday an extension of the government's week-long ceasefire with the Taliban, as both sides observed a halt in hostilities on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr Muslim holidays.
In a televised address to the nation, Ghani also asked the Taliban to extend their three-day ceasefire which is due to end Sunday.
The Iranian spokesperson on Sunday expressed hope that the continuation of the ceasefire would prepare the ground for a new and modern beginning of peace talks and the restoration of stability and peace to Afghanistan.
Qassemi also on Saturday strongly condemned a terrorist attack in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar and said, "Terrorists and ill-wishers of the Afghan nation are targeting stability and security of this country."
He added that the Afghan nation's ill-wishers believe that efforts to establish stability and peace in the war-hit country, including the recent ceasefire between the government and the Taliban, are not in line with their own interests.
They did not accept the implementation of the ceasefire and carried out another atrocity to prove that their survival hinges on crimes and conflicts, Qassemi pointed out.
At least 26 people lost their lives in an explosion that hit a gathering of the Taliban and Afghan security officials in Nangarhar on Saturday as the two sides were marking their unprecedented three-day ceasefire on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr Muslim holidays.
The reason for the explosion in the restive district of Bati Kot is still unknown. Civilians and Taliban forces were reportedly among the casualties.
The Daesh terrorist group said it carried out the bombing targeting Taliban and Afghan forces but gave no details.
The Iranian spokesman said the Afghan government and people would soon be able to defeat terrorist elements, who are disturbing unity, stability and security, adding that the Afghans would enjoy the outcomes of their patience and resistance.