Source: The Hindu
After more than 18 years of war in Afghanistan, the United States signed a historic deal with Taliban insurgents which could pave the way toward a full withdrawal of foreign soldiers from Afghanistan over the next 14 months
Key highlights of the peace deal
Both the USA and Taliban agreed to following four main issues;
- Cease-fire: Negotiators agreed to a temporary reduction in violence and said that a lasting cease-fire among U.S., Taliban, and Afghan forces will be part of intra-Afghan negotiations.
- Withdrawal of foreign forces: The US agreed to reduce its number of troops in the country from roughly 12,000 to 8,600 within 135 days. If the Taliban follows through on its commitments, all U.S. and other foreign troops will leave Afghanistan within fourteen months. Experts have cautioned that pulling troops out too quickly could be destabilizing.
- Intra-Afghan negotiations: The Taliban agreed to start talks with the Afghan government in March 2020. Throughout the negotiating process, the Taliban had resisted direct talks with the government, calling it an American puppet. But the Taliban has more recently indicated that talks are possible, with deputy Taliban leader Sirajuddin Haqqani writing in a New York Times op-ed,
- Counterterrorism assurances: The United States invaded Afghanistan following September 11, 2001, attacks largely to eliminate the threat of terrorism, so it seeks to halt terrorist activities in the country, including by al-Qaeda and the self-proclaimed Islamic State. As part of the agreement, the Taliban guaranteed that Afghanistan will not be used by any of its members, other individuals, or terrorist groups to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.