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President Trump set to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan in deal with the Taliban

01 Aug 2019 Daily Mail Online

The Trump administration is gearing up to bring home several thousand troops from Afghanistan in a bid to strike a peace agreement with the Taliban after 18-years-of-conflict.

In return, the White House will be seeking a number of concessions from the Islamic fundamentalists including a cease-fire and the renunciation of Al-Qaeda, US officials revealed.

The deal, which would also necessitate the Taliban negotiation a more rigorous peace agreement with the Afghan government, would see the number of American troops in the region cut from about 14,000 to somewhere between eight and nine thousand – the same amount when Trump first took office.

White House officials have undertaken eight rounds of negotiations with the Taliban over a series of months, led by Afghan-born diplomatic representative Zalmay Khalilzad.

The Trump administration is gearing up to bring home several thousand troops from Afghanistan in a bid to strike a peace agreement with the Taliban after 18-years-of-conflict

According to Khalilzad's projections, a peace agreement could be struck within the next round of talks, scheduled to take place in Qatar later this week. 

'In Doha, if the Taliban do their part, we will do ours, and conclude the agreement we have been working on,' Khalilzad tweeted Wednesday, later adding: 'Wrapping up my most productive visit to #Afghanistan since I took this job as Special Rep.'

Khalilzad is hoping to finalize all arrangements before the Afghan presidential election in September, but he has warned that significant challenges remain ahead before any troops can be withdrawn.

Doubts also continue to persist about the trustworthiness of the Taliban leaders and how to actually ensure that they're following through with their promises.

'I would say that they are 80 or 90 percent of the way there,' one anonymous official told the Washington Post. 'But there is still a long way to go on that last 10 or 20 percent.'

Original Link: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7312643/President-Trump-set-withdraw-thousands-troops-Afghanistan-deal-Taliban.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490

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