US and Taliban agree to reduce violence in Afghanistan

The United States announced an agreement on a truce with the Taliban*, which will have the effect “very soon” and may contribute to the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

It is reported by the Associated Press, citing a senior official.

According to the agency, the agreement on a seven-day reduction in violence, which should be followed by Afghan peace talks for ten days, it is “very specific” and covers the whole country, including government forces.

A formal announcement of this agreement may occur in the coming days, the report said.

On February 13, Pentagon chief Mark Esper said the United States and the Taliban had prepared an agreement to end the violence in Afghanistan for seven days.

Russian President’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov noted that the Taliban will be ready to negotiate directly with the Afghan government after they sign an agreement with the United States.

According to him, the possibility of introducing a temporary ceasefire between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban for the period of negotiations is being discussed.

As the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on February 3, for a peace agreement with the Taliban, the parties must reduce violence. US Presidential Adviser on National Security Robert O’Brien did not rule out that a deal with the Taliban could be concluded in 2020.

* “Taliban” – the organization was recognized as terrorist by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of February 14, 2003.

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