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US, Taliban reach agreement to reduce violence: reports

Pact could potentially lead to eventual withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan

Mıchael Gabrıel Hernandez   | 14.02.2020
US, Taliban reach agreement to reduce violence: reports


The U.S. and the Afghan Taliban have reached an agreement to reduce hostilities for seven days, according to multiple reports published Friday.

The pact could potentially lead to the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan after nearly two decades of fighting.

The agreement has yet to enter force, and it is unclear when it would be instituted. But the Associated Press cited an official who said it would take effect “very soon.”

The agreement would pave the way for the U.S. and Taliban to finalize a larger deal that was derailed following a deadly Taliban suicide attack in Kabul that killed an American soldier.

Trump declared the peace talks “dead” in September in the wake of the soldier’s killing, and cancelled a Camp David summit one day before he said it was scheduled to begin.

If the parties maintain their commitments under the new plan to reduce violence for a seven-day period, peace talks involving all Afghan parties would reportedly begin.

A source within the Taliban told ABC News that the reduction in violence would run from Feb. 22 through Feb. 29 with wider peace talks slated to begin March 10.

The reduction in violence would prohibit the Taliban from conducting roadside bomb, rocket and suicide attacks, according to ABC.

The Taliban has rejected the notion of holding direct peace talks with the Afghan government headed by President Ashraf Ghani, and has rebuffed the idea of a broader nationwide ceasefire.

The agreement that was nearly signed in September sets the timetable for the U.S. exit from Afghanistan in exchange for the Taliban vows to ensure Afghanistan does not become a hotbed for terrorist groups and beginning talks with Ghani’s government.

The U.S. has upwards of 12,000 troops in Afghanistan conducting operations in support of Ghani’s forces, as well as conducting a broader anti-terror mission.

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