US, Taliban reach agreement to reduce violence opening door troop withdrawal

zabelin/iStock(WASHINGTON) — The United States and Taliban reached an agreement on Friday to reduce violence, which could open the door to the two sides finalizing the larger deal reached last year, per a senior State Department official.

That larger deal would require U.S. forces to begin to withdraw, in exchange for a Taliban commitment to not allow Afghanistan to be a safe haven for terrorism and to sit down with other Afghans for peace talks.

But first, the Taliban must follow through on this seven-day reduction in violence. While it’s not a full ceasefire, the senior State Dept. official said it is nationwide, including Afghan government forces.

The agreement is “very specific” — down to roadside bombs, suicide bombs and rocket attacks.

“Should the Talibs implement what they’ve committed to doing, we’ll go forward with the agreement,” the official said.

It’s unclear when the interim deal will be implemented.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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