The US and Taliban Have Reached a Reduction of Violence Agreement

 In Afghanistan, Defense

MUNICH (Reuters) — The United States has reached agree­ment with the Taliban on a week­long reduc­tion of vio­lence that could lead to a U.S. troop with­draw­al from Afghanistan, a senior admin­is­tra­tion offi­cial said on Friday.

The offi­cial told reporters at a secu­ri­ty con­fer­ence in Munich the seven-day reduc­tion of vio­lence agree­ment had yet to begin.

The announce­ment fol­lowed a meet­ing between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani during the con­fer­ence on Friday. It came a day after U.S. President Donald Trump said there was a “good chance” of reach­ing an agree­ment with the Taliban on a reduc­tion of U.S. troops nearly two decades after the U.S.-led inva­sion.

An agree­ment that leads to a major U.S. troop with­draw­al could be a polit­i­cal boost for Trump, who has repeat­ed­ly promised to stop “end­less wars” as he seeks re-elec­tion in November.

The senior admin­is­tra­tion offi­cial, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymi­ty, said that the reduc­tion of vio­lence agree­ment covers the entire coun­try and also applies to Afghan forces, even though the Afghan gov­ern­ment has been exclud­ed from the talks between the United States and Taliban in Qatar.

“The reduc­tion of vio­lence agree­ment is very spe­cif­ic. It’s nation­wide and it includes the Afghans,” said the offi­cial, adding that it applies to “every­thing. Roadside bombs, sui­cide bombs, rocket attacks is all writ­ten out.”

Source: Task & Purpose

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