KABUL: Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Friday touted a three-day ceasefire with the Taliban in an address to the nation heralding the Islamic holiday of Eidul Fitr.
The holiday marks the end of the Ramzan, when devout Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.
The ceasefire took effect at midnight on Thursday and lasts through the three-day holiday.
Ghani is using the opportunity to appeal for a lengthier ceasefire and call for the Taliban to come to the negotiating table instead of returning to the battlefield.
The Taliban agreed to the ceasefire but leader Haibaitullah Akhunzada reiterated his demand for talks with the United States before sitting down with the Afghan government.
MUSLIM WORLD CELEBRATES EID:
Across Asia, the faithful are celebrating the end of the holy month in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
In Iran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed the nation during holiday prayers.
He praised citizens for showing up at massive rallies last Friday in support of the Palestinians on al-Quds, or Jerusalem Day. That day was initiated by Iran in 1979 to express support for the Palestinians and oppose Israel.
“This year and despite hot weather, people participated in Quds-day rallies more remarkable than previous years,” Khameini said.
President Hassan Rouhani, in an Eid message, added: “I believe the land of Palestine will be returned to owners of the land with the help of God. “