February 29, 2020 / 4:04 PM / a month ago

U.N. chief welcomes U.S.-Taliban deal, stresses need to sustain reduction in violence

FILE PHOTO: Antonio Guterres, United Nations (UN) Secretary General, speaks at a news conference at the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and the Government of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 10, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called a agreement signed between the United States and Taliban on Saturday an important development in achieving a lasting political settlement in Afghanistan, while stressing the importance of sustaining a nationwide reduction in violence.

“The Secretary-General welcomes efforts to achieve a lasting political settlement in Afghanistan. Today’s events in Doha and Kabul mark important developments in this regard,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

“The Secretary-General stresses the importance of sustaining the nationwide reduction in violence, for the benefit of all Afghans. He encourages continued efforts by all parties to create an enabling environment for the intra-Afghan negotiations and a comprehensive peace process.”

Reporting by Michelle Nichols and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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