US announces 7-day truce with Taliban | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 14, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:12 AM, February 14, 2020

US announces 7-day truce with Taliban

The United States has secured a seven-day reduction in violence in talks to help seek a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan, Pentagon chief Mark Esper said yesterday.

The announcement came as Nato defence ministers met in Brussels and a day after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani reported "notable progress" in negotiations with the Islamist insurgents.

"The United States and the Taliban have negotiated a proposal for a seven-day reduction in violence," Esper told reporters, dubbing his meetings with Nato colleagues "productive."

"We've said all along that the best, if not the only, solution in Afghanistan is a political agreement. Progress has been made on that front and we'll have more to report on that soon, I hope."

Esper did not say when the partial truce would begin, but on Wednesday a Taliban official told AFP that the group would begin a "reduction of violence" starting from today.

"It is our view that seven days for now is sufficient but in all things our approach to this process will be conditions based, I will say it again, conditions based," Esper said.

"So it will be a continual evaluative process as we move forward, if we go forward."

Washington and the insurgents have been locked in gruelling talks that have stretched over more than a year, seeking an end to what has already become America's longest war.

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