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A ray of hope as Washington, Taliban edge toward a deal

15 Jan 2020 Afghanistan Times

The insurgent group is considering a cessation of attacks in bid to facilitate American troop withdrawal AT News KABUL: Following painstaking negotiations, the Taliban have purportedly agreed to temporarily reduce violence in Afghanistan, as part of a pending peace deal with the United States to end America’s longest running war. After almost 19 years of fighting, America and the Taliban have agreed in principle on a deal envisaging America withdrawing troops in return for assurances that Afghanistan will never again become a haven for international terrorists. America also wants a reduction of violence and the start of talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, which the militants so far have shrug off. The militant leader, Mullah Haibatullah, has confirmed a week-long reduction in violence including halting attacks in major cities, avoiding suicide bombings and blocking major highways – which will be implemented should the United States strikes the peace deal during this time to facilitate a total American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan – according to sources close to the militant group. Trump administration’s hectic effort to reconcile the Taliban with the Afghan government met with praise by former president Hamid Karzai who said on Wednesday in Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi that Afghans support and pin their hopes on America’s effort to resuscitate peace in Afghanistan – which will be productive. Russia’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, has said the Taliban have agreed on a plan to cease their fighting should a peace deal with the United States is struck. He believed that a deal would be construed as a gateway for Taliban sharing power in the Afghan government not the militants taking over.

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