The United States and the Taliban have reportedly agreed to a preliminary process for a peace agreement to end the Afghan War.
The New York Times reports that “American and Taliban officials have agreed in principle to the framework of a deal in which the insurgents would guarantee to prevent Afghan territory from being used by terrorists, and that could lead to a full pullout of American troops in return for larger concessions from the Taliban, the chief United States negotiator said Monday.”
The United States envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, indicated that: “We have a draft of the framework that has to be fleshed out before it becomes an agreement. … The Taliban have committed, to our satisfaction, to do what is necessary that would prevent Afghanistan from ever becoming a platform for international terrorist groups or individuals.”
According to the New York Times, “A senior Taliban official with direct knowledge of the talks on Monday confirmed the draft agreement on the issue of foreign troop withdrawal and that the Taliban pledge that Afghan soil would not be used against others. He said ‘working groups’ would iron out details on the timeline of the withdrawal.”
The BBC is confirming the peace process, indicating that “A senior Taliban official who attended the talks told the BBC over the weekend that both sides had agreed to form two committees to draw up detailed plans on how to implement agreements in principle on two key issues:
- When will American-led forces be withdrawn from Afghanistan?
- A commitment from the Taliban that the group will not allow international jihadist groups like al-Qaeda to use the country as a base in the future”
“The Taliban official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the committees would ‘identify routes for the withdrawal, and how much time is needed. We suggested six months, but are flexible.'”