An agreement has been reached between the United States and the Taliban, stating that the Taliban will reduce violent operations by a week, which will pave the way for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
This was stated on Friday by a senior US administration official. The agreement warns that the Taliban must obey their assurances. Long before the announcement, the talks between the United States and the Taliban continued in Qatar.
The agreement will likely pave the way for a significant number of US troops in Afghanistan to return. This could have a political benefit to US President Donald Trump, who promised to end the “endless wars” during his presidential campaign. He is seeking re-election next November.
During a security conference in Munich on Friday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Minister Mark Esper met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
A senior US administration official told reporters that the agreement could not be signed in last September because Taliban increase their violence at that time. “We have now reached an agreement that stipulates the reduction of violence. If the Taliban implement the agreement, we will move forward”, the official added.
There are currently about 13,000 US troops in Afghanistan, as well as thousands of other NATO personnel deployed in Afghanistan. A Western diplomat told Reuters earlier this year that the United States was looking to reduce its army to about 9,000.
If violence continues to decline for seven days, the talks between the United States and the Taliban will go to the next stage, called the inter-Afghan dialogue.