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  • Taliban walk as they celebrate ceasefire in Ghanikhel district of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan June 16, 2018.

    Taliban walk as they celebrate ceasefire in Ghanikhel district of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan June 16, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 29 December 2019
Opinion

The ceasefire is a requirement demanded by Washington before a peace deal can be reached.

The Taliban’s ruling council agreed Sunday to a temporary ceasefire in Afghanistan, providing a window in which a peace agreement with the United States can be signed, officials from the insurgent group announced.

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US Resumes Negotiations With Taliban to End 18-Year Afghan War

The ceasefire is a requirement demanded by Washington before a peace deal can be reached. However, there has been no immediate response from the U.S.

The duration nor when it would begin was specified but it was suggested it would last for 10 days. Four members of the Taliban negotiating team working in Qatar met for a week with the ruling council to reach the agreement. 

This comes as the U.S. has resumed talks with the Taliban in Doha, three months after President Donald Trump abruptly halted negotiations with the insurgents. 

Talks between the Taliban and the U.S. aimed at ending the war collapsed on Sept. 7 as Trump decided to unilaterally cancel talks with Afghanistan’s Taliban leaders after the group claimed the attack in Kabul that killed a U.S. soldier and 11 civilians, despite already having already reached a draft peace deal.

The U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zalmai Khalilzad returned to Doha at the beginning of December. It was then that he proposed a temporary halt to hostilities to pave the way to an agreement being signed, according to Taliban officials.

The U.S. military informed that it had quietly reduced the number of troops by about 2,000, to bring the total number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to between 12,000 and 13,000.

Afghanistan continues to be Washington’s longest conflict in its history. It was started after the Sept. 11 attacks in New York City when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan as part of the so-called "war on terror" to dismantle Al-Qaeda by removing the Taliban from power. 

Almost US$975 billion has been spent and approximately 220,000 people have died.

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