US, Taliban agree to terms for peace deal, troop withdrawal

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The United States and the Taliban have agreed to sign a peace deal next week aimed at ending 18 years of war in Afghanistan and bringing U.S. troops home, wrapping up America’s longest-running conflict and fulfilling one of President Donald Trump’s main campaign promises.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani Feb. 14 in Munich, Germany. (Source: CNN)

The planned signing depends on the success of a week-long nationwide ‘reduction in violence’ agreement that would see a halt to all Taliban attacks and is due to start at midnight Friday local time (1930 GMT, 2:30 p.m. EST).

If it’s successful, the peace agreement will be signed in Doha, Qatar, on Feb. 29 and pave the way for a withdrawal of American troops and the start of all-Afghan negotiations.

The period of reduced violence will begin at midnight Friday local time (1930 GMT, 2:30 p.m. EST).

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the agreement will lead to an eventual permanent cease-fire.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.