Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday said that the United States has reached an “understanding” with the Taliban on a reduction of violence across Afghanistan, paving the way for a peace agreement between both sides to be signed on February 29.
Pompeo said in a statement early in the morning that, after discussions in Doha, Qatar, U.S. and Taliban representatives “have come to an understanding with the Taliban on a significant and nationwide reduction in violence across Afghanistan.” A deal is expected to be signed if the weeklong agreement to reduce violence holds.
“Upon a successful implementation of this understanding, signing of the U.S.-Taliban agreement is expected to move forward. We are preparing for the signing to take place on February 29,” Pompeo said. The violence reduction is expected to begin after midnight Friday, according to the Washington Post.
“Intra-Afghan negotiations will start soon thereafter, and will build on this fundamental step to deliver a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire and the future political roadmap for Afghanistan,” the secretary of state continued. “The only way to achieve a sustainable peace in Afghanistan is for Afghans to come together and agree on the way forward.”