(TKG) — After a week “reduction in violence” the United States and the Taliban signed a historic agreement on Saturday, February 29, which would lead to the drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and would pave the way for the “intra-Afghan” talks.
The U.S.-Taliban peace deal was signed in Qatar’s capital of Doha by U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, and the Taliban’s leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who witnessed the ceremony said the U.S. “will closely watch the Taliban’s compliance with their commitments, and calibrate the pace of our withdrawal to their actions,” adding that, “This is how will ensure that Afghanistan never again serves for international terrorists.”
U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, in the meantime, was in Kabul, on Saturday for a joint declaration ceremony with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
The United States and NATO would withdraw all troops in Afghanistan within 14 months if the Taliban upheld its commitments, according to a joint statement released by the U.S. and Afghan governments on Saturday.
Earlier, President Donald Trump announced Friday, February 28, that at his order, Mr. Pompeo will “witness the signing of an agreement with representatives of the Taliban” and Mr. Esper to “issue a joint declaration with the government of Afghanistan.”
The peace agreement was signed in Doha in the presence of leaders from Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, and will pave the way for the United States to bring its longest war to an end.Follow TKG on Twitter & Facebook