UNITED NATIONS, June 18 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Monday welcomed the Afghan government's announcement at the weekend to extend a temporary cease-fire with the Taliban after the Eid al-Fitr holiday.
The members of the Security Council also expressed their strong disappointment that the Taliban have not extended their previously announced partial cease-fire, and urged them to reciprocate the government's cease-fire in full, said the council in a press statement.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their call upon the Taliban to accept the offer made by the Afghan government in February this year to engage in direct peace talks without any preconditions, said the statement.
The council members reiterated the importance of an inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process for the long-term prosperity and stability of Afghanistan, and expressed their full support for the Afghan government's efforts to that end.
The Afghan government announced on June 7 a week-long temporary cease-fire starting on June 12 till the end of Eid al-Fitr celebrations, and later extended the unilateral cease-fire for 10 days. The Taliban agreed on a three-day partial cease-fire during the Eid al-Fitr holiday and refused to extend it.