Trump Admin Announces Peace Deal With Taliban: 'Important Step to Peace'
The agreement would mean 'a significant and nationwide reduction in violence'
The Trump administration and Afghanistan’s Taliban on Friday announced a peace deal, which is on the condition of reduction in violence across the country.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement:
The agreement would mean “a significant and nationwide reduction in violence across Afghanistan.”
Adding both parties will work to “create a suitable security situation” and “make arrangements for the release of prisoners.”
Pompeo offered further details regarding the “extensive talks” in which he said could “facilitate a political settlement to end the war in Afghanistan, reduce the United States and Allied Forces presence, and ensure that no terrorist group ever uses Afghan soil to threaten the United States or our allies.”
Pompeo announced the deal on Twitter on Friday:
“After decades of conflict, we have come to an understanding with the Taliban on a significant reduction in violence across Afghanistan,” he said.
“This is an important step on a long road to peace, and I call on all Afghans to seize this opportunity.”
The Washington Post reported, "the violence reduction, the decisive condition of the possible peace deal, is set to begin early Saturday — just after midnight, according to Afghanistan’s National Security Council and a senior State Department official."
The news comes months after top Al-Qaeda commander Asim Omar was killed in a raid on a Taliban hideout in Afghanistan during a joint operation by US-Afghan forces in October.
After decades of conflict, we have come to an understanding with the Taliban on a significant reduction in violence across #Afghanistan. This is an important step on a long road to peace, and I call on all Afghans to seize this opportunity.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) February 21, 2020
.@SecPompeo announced that the U.S. reached an understanding with the Taliban on a significant, nationwide reduction in violence across Afghanistan that will help to move our #AfghanPeaceProcess forward. This will advance progress toward a political settlement in #Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/PdsQYdooT1— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) February 21, 2020
The raid in Musa Qala, Helmand Province, Afghanistan took out Omar along with six more of his high-level terrorist colleagues during the September 23 attack, Afghanistan's National Directorate for Security revealed Tuesday.
In November, during a surpise visit to American troops in Afghanistan on Thanksgiving, Trump said told troops:
"The Taliban wants to make a deal. We'll see if they want to make a deal. It's got to be a real deal, but we'll see.
"But they want to make a deal."
Politico later reported the Taliban’s ruling council agreed in December to a temporary ceasefire ahead of a possible U.S. peace deal.
Several American service members were either injured or killed, and Afghan military personnel was also fired on earlier this month in the country’s eastern Nangarhar province, where both the Taliban and the Islamic State group affiliate operate.