After a week-long “reduction in violence,” the US and Taliban signed a historic agreement Saturday which sets into motion the potential of a full withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and could pave the way to ending America’s longest-fought war.
The agreement was signed in Doha, Qatar, by US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad — the chief US negotiator in the talks with the Taliban — and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar — the Taliban’s chief negotiator. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo witnessed the signing.
The “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan” outlines a series of commitments from the US and the Taliban related to troop levels, counterterrorism, and the intra-Afghan dialogue aimed at bringing about “a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.”
What the agreement says
The four-page agreement states that the Taliban will take steps “to prevent any group or individual, including al-Qa’ida, from using the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.” Those steps include commitments that the Taliban will instruct its members “not to cooperate with groups or individuals threatening the security of the United States and its allies” and that it “will prevent any group or individual in Afghanistan from threatening the security of the United States and its allies, and will prevent them from recruiting, training, and fundraising and will not host them in accordance with the commitments in this agreement.”
A senior administration official who briefed reporters last week acknowledged that “people are concerned about the historic relationship between the Taliban and al-Qai’da.”
“We think this is a decisive and historic first step in terms of their public acknowledgment that they are breaking ties with al Qaeda. That’s going to be a work in progress,” they said.