Afghanistan strikes cease-fire deal with Taliban for Ramadan

June 7 (UPI) — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced a cease-fire Thursday with the Taliban to last until the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.

In a video message, Ghani said all Afghan security forces are instructed to stop offensive operations between next Tuesday and June 21.

Ghani said on Twitter the cease-fire epitomizes the strength of the Kabul government and the will of the Afghan people for a peaceful resolution.

“The cease-fire is an opportunity for Taliban to introspect that their violent campaign is not winning them hearts and minds but further alienating the Afghan people from their cause,” the president wrote.

Taliban officials have not publicly addressed the agreement.

The move Thursday comes days after top religious leaders met in Kabul and issued a fatwa, a religious proclamation against suicide bombings and attacks — a meeting that was attacked by a suicide bomber that killed seven people.

In February, Ghani offered the Taliban a chance to be recognized as a legitimate political party and exit international sanctions lists. The proposal was prepared after months of input from all segments across Afghanistan in an effort to end fighting that’s been going for more than 16 years.