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Pentagon Says US-Taliban Have Negotiated Proposal for Short Reduction in Violence

Pentagon Says US-Taliban Have Negotiated Proposal for Short Reduction in Violence

Thursday, 13 February, 2020 - 14:45
National army soldiers stand guard at the site of a suicide attack near the military academy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Asharq Al-Awsat

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Thursday that the United States and the Taliban had negotiated a proposal for a seven-day reduction in violence.

"We've said all along that the best, if not only, solution in Afghanistan is a political agreement. Progress has been made on this front and we'll have more to report on that soon," Esper told reporters during a press conference in Brussels.

"It will be a continual evaluative process as we go forward -- if we go forward," Esper added.

Earlier on Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser hinted at a possible US agreement with the Taliban over the next days or weeks, but said a withdrawal of American forces was not “imminent.”

“The president had made it very clear that there will have to be a reduction in violence and there will have to be meaningful intra-Afghan talks for things to move forward,” O’Brien said. “If both those things and a number of other conditions are met and we are able to get agreement on them, I think we could have some good news coming out of Afghanistan — so we’ll have to wait and see over the next several days and weeks.”

If a reduction in violence holds, the US and Taliban would be expected to sign an agreement to begin talks within 10 days involving the Taliban and Afghans from across the nation, including some who hold government positions but don’t represent the government, the Associated Press quoted a person familiar with the negotiations as saying.

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