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  • U.S. military advisers from the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade sit at an Afghan National Army base in Maidan Wardak province, Afghanistan Aug. 6, 2018.

    U.S. military advisers from the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade sit at an Afghan National Army base in Maidan Wardak province, Afghanistan Aug. 6, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 February 2020

This new agreement is part of the renewed peace talks with the Taliban, which were restarted in December 2019.

United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced Thursday that they’ve secured a seven-day reduction in violence in talks with the Taliban to help seek a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan.

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"It is our view that seven days, for now, is sufficient but in all things, our approach to this process will be conditions-based, I will say it again, conditions-based," Esper told reporters in Brussels, dubbing his meetings with NATO colleagues "productive."

The Pentagon chief did not say when the partial truce would begin.

Meanwhile, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said last week that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told him that "remarkable progress" had been made in talks to achieve an agreement for the withdrawal of around 13,0000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan, a primary foreign policy objective for President Donald Trump. 

This new agreement is part of the renewed peace talks with the Taliban, which were restarted in December 2019 after President Donald Trump abruptly halted negotiations with the insurgents.

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.

Yet the new talks have not seen a reduction of violence in Afghanistan with the Taliban staging attacks across the country virtually every day.

With the war not showing signs of reaching a near end, 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 between 150,000 to 220,000 people have died.

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