US signs deal with Taliban to end 18-year-long war in Afghanistan, to pull out troops in 14 months

The United States on Saturday signed a landmark deal with Taliban to end the 18-year-long war in Afghanistan. Under the deal, the US and its Nato allies will withdraw all their troops from Afghanistan in the next 14 months.

However, the withdrawal would depend on the Taliban’s compliance with their commitments for peace, preventing terror and its severance of ties with international terrorist groups such as al-Qaida.

The agreement lays down a roadmap for the withdrawal of US troops. The US will reduce its troops from 13,000 to 8,600 within 135 days of signing the deal. The remaining soldiers will be withdrawn within a span of 14 months.

Similarly, the Nato will reduce its troops from 16,000 to 12,000 in the first phase before the complete withdrawal in 14 months.

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The deal was signed in the Qatari capital Doha between the chief American envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar who represented the Taliban.

“The coalition will complete the withdrawal of their remaining forces from Afghanistan within 14 months following the announcement of this joint declaration and the US-Taliban agreement… subject to the Taliban’s fulfilment of its commitments,” the statement released by the US and Afghan governments said.

The US invaded the country weeks after the September 2001 attacks by the Afghanistan-based al-Qaeda group.

More than 2,400 US troops have been killed during the conflict. About 12,000 are still stationed in the country. President Trump has promised to put an end to the conflict.


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