Breaking: Taliban Agree to Cease Fire in Afghanistan to Allow for Signing of Peace Deal With U.S.

Screenshot from this video

Screenshot from this video

 

The U.S. has been in talks for over a year with the Taliban, working on a deal to end the war in Afghanistan, and to ensure the best possible situation in Afghanistan after the U.S. withdraws.

They were close to a deal in September when the Taliban engaged in more violence including killing a U.S. soldier, prompting President Donald Trump to suspend talks.

But after a surprise visit by Trump to Afghanistan on Thanksgiving, the talks were restarted and now there’s pretty big news that the Taliban ruling council has agreed to a temporary cease-fire to allow a window to sign a peace deal.

The U.S. had demanded a cease-fire before any deal, so that critical step was met. The U.S. also wants a deal to include a promise that they not be used as a terrorist base.

It’s not clear how long the cease-fire would be but indications were it might be for at least ten days.

If this holds, this could officially end the 18-year-old effort in Afghanistan and bring all the U.S. troops who are there home. That would be a huge thing for Trump and for the military troops serving if they’re able to make a credible deal.

From AP:

Taliban officials familiar with the negotiations spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media outlets.

A key pillar of the agreement, which the U.S. and Taliban have been hammering out for more than a year, is direct negotiations between Afghans on both sides of the conflict.

Those intra-Afghan talks were expected to be held within two weeks of the signing of a U.S.-Taliban peace deal. They will decide what a post-war Afghanistan will look like.

The first item on the agenda is expected to address how to implement a cease-fire between the Taliban and Afghanistan’s National Security Forces. The negotiations, however, were expected to be prickly and will cover a variety of thorny issues, including rights of women, free speech, and changes to the country’s constitution.