US & Taliban reach reduction of violence deal that ‘could lead to troop withdrawal’ – official

The United States has reached a reduction of violence agreement with the Taliban that could lead to a US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, Reuters quoted a senior administration official as saying on Friday.

The agreement for a seven-day “reduction in violence” to be followed by the start of all-Afghan peace talks within 10 days is “very specific” and covers the entire country including Afghan forces, AP reported.

The developments come as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper met Friday in Munich, Germany with Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani. They spoke on the sidelines of an international security forum.