The European Union (EU) Special Envoy to Afghanistan today called for a ceasefire, considering the end of negotiations between the United States and the Taliban as an opportunity for a break in the conflict.
"This is a good time and a good opportunity to go beyond simply reducing violence and exploring ways to reach a ceasefire," Roland Kobia told a news conference.
Talks between the United States and the Taliban about a future withdrawal of US forces underpinned a reduction in violence in the region and an opening for inter-Afghan dialogue.
However, President Donald Trump decided in early September that talks were "dead" after a US soldier was killed in an attack.
According to Kobia, a ceasefire would represent a significant change in the situation that could convince Trump to resume negotiations.
"The idea is really to see how we can move towards a ceasefire project instead of keeping it for later … The opportunity now exists," the emissary added.
Asked how the EU, whose influence in Afghanistan is limited, could boost talks, Kobia suggested that the Taliban could return to power "one way or another."
"A ceasefire would be a guarantee, a promise of goodwill and a good preparation for normalizing these relations," he added.
Afghanistan reported an unprecedented number of civilian casualties in the third quarter of this year, with 1,174 dead, according to a UN report released on Thursday.
On Friday, an attack on a mosque killed at least 70 people.
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