The United States and the Taliban on Saturday signed a peace deal in Doha following months of negotiations, aimed at ending the 18-year long war in Afghanistan. The deal will further pave the way for Washington to withdraw all its troops from the country within 14 months.
According to a report by Al Jazeera, the agreement was signed between the representatives of the US and the Taliban in Qatar's Doha in the presence of representatives of various countries.
Ahead of the signing, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said the United States will closely watch the Taliban for their compliance with their commitments and calibrate the peace of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan with the group's action.
"Efforts only became real when the Taliban showed interest in pursuing real peace & ending their relationship with Al-Qaeda & other foreign terrorist groups. The agreement that we will sign today is the true test of this effort," Pompeo said.
"We will closely watch the Taliban for their compliance with their commitments and calibrate the pace of our withdrawal with their actions. This is how we will ensure that Afghanistan never again serves as a base for international terrorists," he added.
As per the joint declaration between Washington and the Afghan government, the US will withdraw all its forces from Afghanistan within 14 months. The plan is "subject to the Taliban's fulfilment of its commitments under the US-Taliban agreement.
"The United States reaffirms its commitments regarding support for the Afghan security forces and other government institutions, including through ongoing efforts to enhance the ability of Afghan security forces to deter and respond to internal and external threats, consistent with its commitments under existing security agreements between the two governments," the joint declaration read, as reported by Tolo News.
As per the declaration, the US will reduce the number of US military forces in Afghanistan to 8,600 and implement other commitments in the US-Taliban agreement within 135 days of the announcement of this joint declaration and the US-Taliban agreement.
(With inputs from agencies)
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