US, Taliban agree to terms for peace deal, troop withdrawal

US, Taliban agree to terms for peace deal, troop withdrawal
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani Feb. 14 in Munich, Germany. (Source: CNN)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The United States and the Taliban have agreed to sign a peace deal next week aimed at ending 18 years of war in Afghanistan and bringing U.S. troops home, wrapping up America’s longest-running conflict and fulfilling one of President Donald Trump’s main campaign promises.

The planned signing depends on the success of a week-long nationwide ‘reduction in violence’ agreement that would see a halt to all Taliban attacks and is due to start at midnight Friday local time (1930 GMT, 2:30 p.m. EST).

If it’s successful, the peace agreement will be signed in Doha, Qatar, on Feb. 29 and pave the way for a withdrawal of American troops and the start of all-Afghan negotiations.

The period of reduced violence will begin at midnight Friday local time (1930 GMT, 2:30 p.m. EST).

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the agreement will lead to an eventual permanent cease-fire.

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