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Ending ‘endless war'? US & Taliban reach ‘violence reduction agreement' that could lead to Afghanistan pullout


Added 02-14-20 05:37:02pm EST - “Washington and Taliban militants have reportedly agreed on a seven-day "violence reduction" in Afghanistan. If upheld, it could open doors for another deal that would see US troops withdraw after 19 years of conflict.” - Rt.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Rt.com: “Ending ‘endless war’? US & Taliban reach ‘violence reduction agreement’ that could lead to Afghanistan pullout”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

The news came as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Pentagon chief Mark Esper met Afghan president Ashraf Ghani on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference to discuss the situation in the war-torn country. Both earlier hinted at some developments in negotiations with the Taliban, which Pompeo described as a “pretty important breakthrough.”

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that an agreement was “very close.” Unnamed US State Department officials confirmed to various media outlets on Friday that a “violence reduction” accord has indeed been reached.

The deal apparently stops short of calling a full-fledged truce, focusing only on some particular activities instead. Yet it is also described as a “very specific” and is said to involve all sides, including the Afghan army, not just the US and the Taliban. It also reportedly covers roadside bombs, suicide attacks and rocket launches. The US military will be monitoring the situation to verify if the deal is upheld.

Should the “violence reduction” deal be maintained for a week, Washington and the Taliban would move on to a more comprehensive agreement, which would involve at least the start of a significant US troop withdrawal. In exchange, the Taliban would take part in the peace process together with other forces, including the government in Kabul, which they previously repeatedly dismissed as a “puppet” of the West.

Another condition of the future agreement would demand that the Taliban do not allow Afghanistan to turn into a safe haven for terrorist groups. None of the details have been officially announced yet, with various media outlets suggesting the announcement could come as early as next week.

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