A seven-day reduction in violence between Afghan, Taliban and American forces will begin Friday in Afghanistan, a senior state department official confirmed. If that agreement holds, it would lead to the signing of a long-awaited, broader U.S.-Taliban agreement that could see U.S. troops withdraw from the country after 18 years of conflict, NBC News reports.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed in a statement that the U.S. was "preparing for the signing to take place on February 29."
The reduction in violence is seen as a test of the Taliban’s resolve to end the conflict in Afghanistan, which is America’s longest war. If properly implemented, a Taliban representative and U.S. Special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad will sign the U.S.-Taliban agreement in Doha later this month, a senior state department official said.
The militants had previously rejected the idea of a full-blown cease-fire with Afghan forces, leading U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad to pursue a deal to "reduce" violence.
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