Feb 21, 2020 15:43 Asia/Tehran [Updated: Feb 21, 2020 19:35 Asia/Tehran]
  • Photo by AFP
    Photo by AFP

The United States is preparing to sign a deal with the Taliban on February 29, building on an agreement on reducing violence across Afghanistan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

Iran PressAmerica: "Upon a successful implementation of this understanding, signing of the US-Taliban agreement is expected to move forward," he said in a statement released on Friday after visiting Saudi Arabia.

A week-long "reduction in violence" between the Taliban, the US and Afghan security forces will commence shortly, Afghanistan's National Security Council spokesman Javed Faisal told AFP on Friday.

The partial truce will mark a historic step in more than 18 years of gruelling conflict in Afghanistan and would pave the way for a deal that could, ultimately, see the war end.

Pompeo said that intra-Afghan negotiations would begin shortly after the February 29 signing, expected to take place in the Qatari capital Doha.

They will "build on this fundamental step to deliver a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire and the future political roadmap for Afghanistan," he said.

The US top diplomat said that challenges remain, but that progress made so far "provides hope and represents a real opportunity. The United States calls on all Afghans to seize this moment".

Every day as Americans approach the agreement with the Taliban, the members of the Afghan parliament and the Afghan government's concerns are growing.

Afghan government and representatives expect a ceasefire after the US deal with the Taliban while it is said that there will be no ceasefire but violence will be reduced.

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