The United States Government is seeking to announce a deal to deescalate violence with the Afghan Taliban as soon as this week, according to two US defense officials familiar with the discussions.
According to the CNN, the U.S. is aiming for a peace deal to help execute President Donald Trump’s desire to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The first step is expected to reduce the current level of troops from 12-13,000 to 8,600.
On Friday, the vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. John Hyten, said: “The conditions right now are better. Again there’s the hope word, again I usually don’t use that, but I hope that that continues along, and it’s never going to be perfect. “That’s why it wasn’t called a ceasefire. It was called a reduction in violence because that country is so dispersed and communications so difficult across that you’re always going to have issues, but I hope that it continues that way and a deal will take place this year.”
Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani who welcomed the development, in a tweet said: “The Secretary informed me about the Taliban’s proposal with regards to bringing a significant and enduring reduction in violence.”
The U.S. State Department spokesperson also said that “U.S. talks with the Taliban in Doha continue around the specifics of a reduction in violence.”