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US and Taliban to end 18-year-old Conflict

The US and Taliban have signed a “comprehensive peace agreement” to end years old war in Afghanistan.

The deal is likely to give an edge to US President Donald Trump to show that he has brought troops home ahead of the US presidential election in November.

The deal was signed by US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban political chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. Mr. Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, was present as a witness to the peace deal. After this deal, talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, reportedly, are due to follow.

 

The US and its allies have agreed to withdraw all troops within 14 months if the militants abide by the terms of the agreement. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Taliban leaders attended the signing ceremony in Doha in Qatar.

Militants also agreed not to allow al-Qaeda or any other extremist group to operate in the areas they control.

The US will reduce its forces in Afghanistan to 8,600 within the first 135 days of the deal.

The NATO allies of the US will also follow the same pattern to withdraw their forces from Afghanistan. Moreover, some 1,000 Afghan security forces and 5,000 Taliban prisoners would also be exchanged under the deal.

See: What has made America’s war in Afghanistan unwinnable?

The US will also lift sanctions against the Taliban. The US will be working with the United Nations to lift the UN’s sanctions against the Taliban.

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