'US TO PULL 5,000 TROOPS FROM AFGHANISTAN, SHUT BASES WITHIN 135 DAYS' | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

'US TO PULL 5,000 TROOPS FROM AFGHANISTAN, SHUT BASES WITHIN 135 DAYS'

SOURCE: INDIATIMES.COM
KABUL: The United States would withdraw almost 5,000 troops from Afghanistan and close five bases within 135 days under a draft peace accord agreed with the Taliban, the chief US negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad said on Monday.

The deal, reached after months of negotiations with representatives from the insurgent movement, must still be approved by US President Donald Trump before it can be signed, Khalilzad said in an interview with Tolo News television. "In principle, we have got there," he said.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has been briefed on a draft of the accord and will look at details of the deal before giving an opinion, his spokesman said on Monday.

In exchange for the phased withdrawal, the Taliban would commit not to allow Afghanistan to be used by militants to plot attacks on the US and its allies.

It includes provision for so-called "intra-Afghan" talks to reach a broader political settlement and end the fighting between the Taliban and the Western-backed government in Kabul. However, details of any future negotiations remain unclear, with the Taliban so far refusing to deal directly with the government.

Ghani met Khalilzad and will "study and assess" details of the draft, spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said earlier on Monday. "But for us, a meaningful peace or a path to a meaningful peace is the end of violence and direct negotiation with the Taliban," he said.

Many Afghan government officials have resented the government's exclusion from the US-Taliban talks. There was some uncertainty about whether Ghani had been given a copy of the agreement, or simply shown it.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This sounds great; but I am not holding my breath here, until I see a consummation of this agreement from all parties which were signatories to it.

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