UPDATED 5:33 PM PT — Monday, February 17, 2020
A peace deal between the U.S. and the Taliban is set to be signed at the end of the month. A senior Taliban official confirmed Monday both sides have finalized the agreement and it will be signed following a seven day period of reduced violence.
The U.S. and Taliban officials agreed to the truce last week and say it will take effect “very soon.”
If the cease-fire holds it could lead to a broader U.S.-Taliban Deal, in which thousands of American troops will withdraw from Afghanistan and the Taliban will begin direct talks with Afghanistan leaders.
In the meantime, millions of Afghanistan refugees remain fearful and uncertain about a possible peace deal that could see them repatriated back to their home country.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper also mentioned that he has future plans to cut down the number of troops in Afghanistan from 12,000 to about 8,600. However those steps were claimed as “conditions based.”
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