US officials and Taliban representatives have signed a last peace deal after months of negotiations in Qatar’s capital to quit the United States’s longest war, fought in Afghanistan seeing that 2001.
Saturday’s agreement, signed in Doha in the presence of leaders from Pakistan, Qatar, Turkey, India, Indonesia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, will pave the way for the US to progressively withdraw its troops.
The two facets have long wrangled over the US demand for a ceasefire before the signing of the remaining peace agreement, which has 4 points: a timeline of 14 months for the withdrawal of all US and NATO troops from Afghanistan; a Taliban warranty that Afghan soil will not be used as a launchpad that would threaten the security of the US; the launch of intra-Afghan negotiations by March 10; and a everlasting and comprehensive ceasefire.
In a statement, the Taliban said it had reached an settlement “about the termination of occupation of Afghanistan”.
“The accord about the entire withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan and by no means intervening in its affairs in the future is surely a exceptional achievement,” it added.
Earlier on Saturday, the Taliban ordered all its fighters to halt fighting and “refrain from attacks”.
Mohammed Naeem, a Taliban representative in Doha, described the deal as “a step forward”.
“With this deal comes the cease of combat in Afghanistan,” he informed Al Jazeera.
For his part, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo known as on the Taliban to honour its commitments.
“I recognize there will be a temptation to declare victory, however victory for Afghans will solely be performed when they can live in peace and prosper,” he said at the Doha ceremony.
Minutes before the deal used to be signed, a joint declaration released through the US and the Afghan authorities said the US and NATO troops would withdraw from Afghanistan within 14 months.
About 14,000 US troops and approximately 17,000 troops from 39 NATO allies and companion international locations are stationed in Afghanistan in a non-combatant role.
“The United States will minimize the number of US army forces in Afghanistan to 8,600 and put in force other commitments in the US-Taliban settlement within a hundred thirty five days of the announcement of this joint assertion and the US-Taliban agreement,” the joint declaration said.
It added that the Afghan authorities will interact with the United Nations Security Council “to put off Taliban contributors from sanctions listing via May 29”.
“No settlement is perfect, and the US-Taliban deal is no exception,” stated Robert Malley, president and CEO of the International Crisis Group.
“But it represents the most hopeful step to end a battle that has lasted two decades and taken infinite American and particularly Afghan lives. It ought to be celebrated, bolstered and constructed upon to attain a real intra-Afghan peace.”
The talks had been launched in 2018 as phase of a push via US President Donald Trump’s administration to strike a deal with the Taliban, which has been fighting the US-led forces in Afghanistan considering the fact that it used to be toppled from energy in 2001.
The peace deal also proposes an intra-Afghan speak with the government in Kabul and the release of 5,000 Taliban participants from prison.
The Taliban has so a ways refused to speak to the Western-backed Afghan government, saying it is a “puppet regime”.
The intra-Afghan talks are to commence on March 10 however no particular details have been given.
A weeklong “reduction in violence” between the Taliban, the US and Afghan security forces saw a sudden drop in violence and casualties across the united states after taking impact on February 22.
The Taliban now controls or holds have an effect on over extra Afghan territory than at any point for the reason that 2001 and has carried out near-daily attacks against military outposts at some point of the country.
The two aspects had been on the verge of signing a peace agreement in September when Trump all at once cancelled the talks after a Taliban assault killed an American soldier.
Trump has long expressed eagerness to convey US troopers domestic and to cease the country’s longest combat as he seeks re-election in 2020.
More than 100,000 Afghans have been killed or wounded considering the fact that 2009 when the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan started documenting casualties.