Taliban open to 10-day ceasefire with U.S., talks with Afghan government

Taliban open to 10-day ceasefire with U.S., talks with Afghan government
  • Clock-gray 11:32
  • calendar-gray 17 January 2020

The Taliban will implement a 10-day ceasefire with U.S. troops, a reduction in violence with Afghan forces and discussions with Afghan government officials if it reaches an agreement with U.S. negotiators in talks in Doha, two sources have said, APA reports citing Reuters.

If an agreement is reached, the move could revive hopes for a long-term solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.

Taliban and U.S. negotiation teams met on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the signing of a peace deal, according to a spokesman for the Taliban office in Doha, Qatar.

The talks between the two sides were “useful” and would continue for a few days, the spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, said in a tweet early on Friday.

The stop-start talks between Taliban militants and the United States to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan were called off in September by U.S. President Donald Trump after an American soldier was killed in an attack by the Taliban.

Talks that had resumed after Trump visited U.S. troops in Afghanistan in November were put on “pause” again the following month after the Taliban launched a suicide attack on a U.S. base outside Kabul killing two civilians.

However, two sources close to the matter told Reuters on Wednesday that the Taliban’s top leadership had discussed and agreed to implement a 10-day ceasefire with U.S troops once an agreement was signed with U.S. officials in Doha, and “reduce” attacks against the Afghan government as well.

A senior Taliban commander said: “The U.S. wanted us to announce a ceasefire during the peace talks which we had rejected. Our shura (council) has agreed to a ceasefire the day the peace accord is signed.”

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