US, Taliban negotiate 7-day reduction in violence: Pentagon

  • US, Taliban negotiate 7-day reduction in violence: Pentagon

US, Taliban negotiate 7-day reduction in violence: Pentagon

The US and the Taliban have been locked in gruelling talks that have stretched over more than a year, seeking an end to Afghanistan's 18-year war, the US's longest conflict.

President Donald Trump is gambling that direct engagement with the Taliban, which once provided a safe haven in Afghanistan for the al-Qaeda terrorist group, will help him meet a pledge when running for office in 2016 to get America out of what he called "endless wars". In September, Trump abruptly called off the talks in response to a suicide bombing in Kabul that killed an American soldier. "The Secretary informed me about the Taliban's proposal with regards to bringing a significant and enduring reduction in violence" aimed at an enduring peace deal".

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday that a tentative deal has been reached between the US and the Taliban on a seven-day "reduction of violence" in Afghanistan.

"We've said all along that the best, if not the only, solution in Afghanistan is a political agreement".

"In our view, seven days is sufficient" to determine whether the basis for moving forward with a long-term peace agreement had been established, Esper said.

A deal would commit Taliban insurgents to curb attacks in Afghanistan and the reduce its troop presence there. "One thing I can tell you clearly is that the Afghan army, government and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation are working together- whether to go towards peace or to bring pressure on the enemy -and we also will assure our people that defending the past two decades of achievements is the responsibility of our army", Khaild said.

Following nine rounds of US-Taliban talks in Qatar, the two sides seemed close to an agreement.

But days later, Mr Trump said the talks were "dead", after the militant group admitted to killing a USA soldier.

In the months since the deal collapsed, there has so far been no let-up in fighting. The Taliban has warned that the United States would "lose the most" by cancelling the talks.

The announcements by the USA on Thursday came after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he had been informed of "notable progress" in the talks, which his government is not involved in.