Trump says US-Taliban peace deal 'close'

US Taliban Negotiate Proposed Seven Day ‘Reduction in Violence

Afghan security forces keep watch at the site of a blast in Kabul Afghanistan on Feb. 11 2020

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the United States is "very close" to a peace deal with the Taliban guerrillas in Afghanistan.

Trump campaigned on a promise to withdraw troops from Afghanistan but has been met with resistance by previous advisors in the White House.

However, there'll be deterrents from the Taliban Growing up attacks after reaching a deal with the United States.

Among the Taliban's demands is that any members of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's government participating in the negotiations be there only as regular citizens, not as officials, The Associated Press reports: "The Taliban do not recognize the Afghan government and have refused to negotiate directly with Ghani, effectively sidelining Kabul from the process".

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

Still, the administration expressed optimism that a sweeping agreement could finally be within reach.

Khalilzad was in Munich and attended Pompeo and Esper's meeting as did Gen. Scott Miller, the commander of the US-led worldwide force in Afghanistan. "We have the basis for one on the table and we are asking for a hard look at it". We are consulting with our allies.

"I think we're very close", he told Geraldo Rivera's Roadkill podcast on Thursday (local time)". Subsequently, the United States troops will purportedly prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan, after nearly two decades, in a phased manner.

U.S. Marines stand guard during the change of command ceremony at Shorab military camp in Afghanistan's Helmand province in January 2018.

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The final details were hammered out in recent days by USA special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban representatives in Doha, Qatar.

Taliban leaders, who have rebuffed past overtures by the Trump administration, now "want the agreement", according to the senior administration official, who spoke about the developing situation only on background.

Between the signing of the U.S. -Taliban deal and starting of intra-Afghan negotiations, the insurgent group and Afghan authorities would be expected to release each other's prisoners. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican.

It came a day after U.S. President Donald Trump said there was a "good chance" of reaching an agreement with the Taliban on a reduction of U.S. troops almost two decades after the U.S. -led invasion of the country.

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The U.S. now has about 13,000 troops in Afghanistan.

Progress toward reducing violence could usher in direct peace talks between the militants and the Afghan government to end the almost two-decade war. But should they secure a bargain to get a USA withdrawal, then the Taliban's commanders could be amenable.

A truce had been widely anticipated, and Trump agreed in principle to the deal, according to U.S. officials.

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