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Taliban agree to ceasefire to discuss US peace deal

by ace
Taliban agree to ceasefire to discuss US peace deal

The Taliban announced today that they have agreed to a temporary nationwide ceasefire to provide a temporal "window" during which a peace agreement with the United States could be signed, the Associated Press reported.

According to the US agency, a peace deal would allow Washington to bring home its troops in Afghanistan and end its 18-year military presence and commitment in the longest-running country.

The United States wants any agreement to include a Taliban pledge that Afghanistan will not be used as a base by terrorist groups.

The United States currently has about 12,000 troops in Afghanistan.

The Taliban chief is expected to approve the deal as expected. The duration of the temporary ceasefire was not specified, but sources say it would last 10 days.

The Taliban negotiating group met with members of the Afghan government before agreeing to a ceasefire, and the negotiating team returned to Qatar today, where contacts are ongoing.

A key point of the deal, which the US and Taliban have been establishing for over a year, is direct negotiations between Afghans on both sides of the conflict.

The Taliban had previously turned down all Afghan ceasefire offers except a three-day truce in June 2018 during the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

The current ceasefire proposal would last a week to 10 days. During that time, a peace agreement with the United States would be signed, Taliban sources told AP.

Negotiations between Afghans on both sides of the conflict would continue to decide on the shape of postwar Afghanistan.

Last Monday, an American soldier was killed in combat in the northern province of Kunduz. The Taliban claimed the fatal road attack that hit US and Afghan forces in Kunduz.

The next day, a Taliban attack on a checkpoint killed at least seven Afghan army soldiers in northern Balkh province.

Six other Afghan troops were killed in the same province on Thursday in an attack on an army base.

The next day at least 10 Afghan soldiers were killed in an attack on a checkpoint in the southern province of Helmand.

The Taliban often attack Afghan and US forces, as well as government officials, but dozens of Afghan civilians are also killed in crossfire or roadside bombs.

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