Saturday, February 29, 2020

United States and Taliban sign deal to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan


The United States signed a landmark deal with the Taliban on Saturday, laying out a timetable for a full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan within 14 months as it seeks an exit from its longest-ever war.

The agreement is expected to lead to a dialogue between the Taliban and the Kabul government that, if successful, could ultimately see an end to the grinding 18-year conflict.

Taliban fighter-turned-dealmaker Mullah Baradar signed the accord alongside Washington’s chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad, at a gilded desk in a conference room in a luxury Doha hotel.

The pair then shook hands, as people in the room shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest).



US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo looked on as the two inked the deal, after urging the insurgents to “keep your promises to cut ties with Al-Qaeda”.

On the eve of the signing, President Donald Trump urged the Afghan people to embrace the chance for a new future.

“If the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan live up to these commitments, we will have a powerful path forward to end the war in Afghanistan and bring our troops home,” he said.

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