On Friday, sources in the Afghan Taliban revealed that they are ready to implement a 10 day ceasefire with US troops as well as reduce their hostilities with Afghan troops.
What are the details?
The Afghan Taliban said they would be open to talks with the government if it reaches an agreement with US negotiators in talks in Doha.
If an agreement is reached, this move could revive hopes for a long-term solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.
Taliban and US negotiation teams met on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the signing of a peace deal, according to a spokesman for the Taliban office in Doha, Qatar.
The talks between the two sides were “useful” and would continue for a few days, the spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, said in a tweet early on Friday.
What’s the context?
The stop-start talks between Taliban and the United States to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan were called off in September by US President Donald Trump after an American soldier was killed in an attack by the Taliban.
Talks that had resumed after Trump visited US troops in Afghanistan in November were put on “pause” again the following month after the Taliban launched a suicide attack on a US base outside Kabul killing two civilians.
However, two sources close to the matter told Reuters on Wednesday that the Taliban’s top leadership had discussed and agreed to implement a 10-day ceasefire with US troops once an agreement was signed with US officials in Doha, and “reduce” attacks against the Afghan government as well.
A senior Taliban commander said: “The US wanted us to announce a ceasefire during the peace talks which we had rejected. Our shura (council) has agreed to a ceasefire the day the peace accord is signed.”
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