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UN chief welcomes Afghan gov't-Taliban agreement to speed up talks

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-07-20 10:29

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. [Photo/Agencies]

UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday welcomed the agreement by the Afghan government and the Taliban to expedite peace talks, said Guterres' press office.

The secretary-general is encouraged by the joint declaration issued in Doha, Qatar, on Sunday, under which the two sides agreed to accelerate their high-level engagements in order to find a "timely and just solution" to the conflict, said the press office in a note to correspondents.

Guterres echoed the joint statement issued on Monday by the diplomatic missions of 15 countries, NATO and the European Union to Afghanistan calling for the end of violence, a permanent and comprehensive cease-fire and meaningful peace negotiations, said the press office.

"The secretary-general underscores the importance of reaching, as a matter of urgency, a negotiated settlement that responds to the needs of all Afghan men and women. He urges the parties to make good on their commitment to accelerating negotiations and meeting the humanitarian needs of the population. He calls upon the international community to unite its efforts in support of the peace process," it said.

The secretary-general expressed the hope that Eid al-Adha, which falls on Tuesday, will be celebrated in peace in Afghanistan.

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