KABUL (SW) - The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said on Friday that the US had “come to an understanding with the Taliban” over violence reduction in Afghanistan as officials said an agreement would be signed at the end of the month.
A seven-day “reduction of violence” deal promised by the Taliban will begin on Friday night, a senior US state department official said, without specifying the exact time, the Guardian reported. It said that will start the countdown to the signing of a peace agreement between the Taliban and the US at the end of the month, to be signed in Doha, Qatar, on 29 February that will pave the way for a withdrawal of US troops and intra- Afghan negotiations.
Pompeo said the peace agreement will also lead to an eventual permanent cease-fire. “We are preparing for the signing to take place on February 29,” Pompeo said in a statement. “Intra-Afghan negotiations will start soon thereafter, and will build on this fundamental step to deliver a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire and the future political road map for Afghanistan.”
The state department official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the deal.
Pompeo’s statement did not say who would participate in the intra-Afghan negotiations from Kabul, saying only that “intra-Afghan negotiations will start soon after the signing in Doha and will build on this fundamental step to deliver a comprehensive and permanent cease-fire and the future political road map for Afghanistan”.