Afghanistan war: US and Afghan Taliban to start partial truce

A seven-day “reduction in violence” between the US and the Afghan Taliban will begin on Saturday, officials say.

Afghanistan war: US and Afghan Taliban to start partial truce

“This is an important step on a long road to peace,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday.

If successful, the two sides will then sign the first phase of a deal aimed at ending nearly two decades of conflict.

The agreement, scheduled to begin at midnight local time, comes after more than a year of talks between American and Afghan Taliban representatives.

In a statement, Taliban negotiators said “a suitable security situation” would be created ahead of signing a deal they hoped would “lay the groundwork for peace across the country with the withdrawal of all foreign forces”.

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the move, adding that this was “a critical test of the Taliban’s willingness and ability to reduce violence, and contribute to peace in good faith”.

The Afghan government, which is currently grappling with a dispute over the results of the country’s presidential elections, was not part of the negotiations.

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