CLAIMS OF FINALIZED PEACE DEAL WITH U.S. BY TALIBAN

Claims by a Taliban spokesperson says that the organization has finalized a peace deal with the U.S. to end more than 18 years of war.  Suhail Shaheen told Afghan television station 1TV on Monday that the two parties had reached an agreement.

Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah confirmed to the TOLOnews channel that a deal had been agreed upon. 

“The agreement between the Taliban and U.S. has been finalized and the signing of the agreement is based on the reduction in violence over seven days and then it will continue,” Abdullah explained.

 The U.S. has been negotiating an end to the country’s longest running war since July 2018.  This weekend, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said the U.S. plan for reduced violence is the first step in any lasting peace deal.

He added that the U.S. also plans to cut troop numbers to around 8,600 from the current level of between 12,000 and 13,000. Nonetheless, Esper explained that these steps remain “conditions based.”

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