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‘US And Afghan Taliban To Sign Peace Deal On Feb 29 In Doha’

NEW YORK: The United States and Afghan Taliban will sign peace accord regarding ‘reduction in violence’ on Feb 29 in Doha, and negotiations between Taliban and Afghan government will start soon. This was announced by US Secretary of State Pompeo.

His statement came hours after Afghan National Security Council (NSC) was quoted by Afghan media earlier today as saying that the 7-day period of the reduction in violence – which the US and the Taliban have agreed as a pre-condition to signing a peace deal, will begin sharply at 12am-midnight, the morning of Saturday, February 22.

The NSC spokesman Jawed Faisal said that Afghan forces are ready to implement the reduction in violence plan.

US media quoted Pompeo as saying that “Challenges remain but the progress made in Doha provides hope and represents a real opportunity.”

In his statement, Pompeo said “the United States and the Taliban have been engaged in extensive talks to facilitate a political settlement to end the war in Afghanistan, reduce United States and Allied Forces presence, and ensure that no terrorist group ever uses Afghan soil to threaten the United States or our allies”. 

He said “in recent weeks, in consultation with the Government of National Unity, US negotiators in Doha have come to an understanding with the Taliban on a significant and nationwide reduction in violence across Afghanistan. Upon a successful implementation of this understanding, signing of the US-Taliban agreement is expected to move forward,” adding that “we are preparing for the signing to take place on February 29.” 

Afghan Taliban, meanwhile, too issued a statement confirming the signing of peace accord on Feb 29 in Doha.

In their statement, the Afghan Taliban said “both parties will now create a suitable security situation in advance of agreement signing date”.

In a tweet posted after the announcement of signing of peace deal, Suhail Shaheen, the key negotiator for Taliban said “According to the agreement with the United States, all foreign forces will be removed from Afghanistan and the occupation will end. No one will be allowed to use Afghanistan’s soil against others.”

Meanwhile, the military commission of Afghan Taliban circulated a letter among its commanders about ‘reduction in violence’, as agreed by the US in Doha talks.

In its letter, Taliban leadership orders to avoid all kind of attacks in all provincial capitals, against all foreign and government troops, from Feb 22 to Feb 29.

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