Official says US, Taliban reach Afghanistan truce agreement, helping withdrawal plan of American troops

National News

MUNICH (AP) — A senior U.S. official said Friday the United States and the Taliban have reached a truce agreement that will take effect “very soon” and could lead to withdrawals of American troops from Afghanistan.

The official said the agreement for a seven-day “reduction in violence” to be followed by the start of all-Afghan peace talks within 10 days is “very specific” and covers the entire country, including Afghan government forces. There were indications a formal announcement could come as early as the weekend.

The official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter and spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the Taliban had committed to a halt in roadside and suicide bombings, as well as rocket attacks. The official said the U.S. would monitor the truce and determine if there were any violations.

Should the Taliban comply, the “reduction in violence” agreement would be followed by the signing of an agreement that would initiate peace negotiations that include all Afghan sides.

A Taliban official familiar with the deal said that the second agreement would be signed Feb. 29 and that the inter-Afghan dialogue would begin March 10. The officials said Germany and Norway have offered to host the talks but there has been no decision on the venue.

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