US says it is ready to withdraw 5,000 soldiers for peace in Afghanistan
The final agreement will have to be approved by President Trump. The Taliban pledge not to use the country as a base of attack for the US and its allies. The return of troops and the closure of four coalition military bases is scheduled for mid-January 2020.
Kabul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The United States is willing to withdraw over 5 thousand soldiers from Afghan territory, in order to reach the peace agreement that has been awaited for 18 years.
In return, the Taliban pledges that the country will not be used as a basis for attacks against the US and its allies by Islamic groups.
These are the results of the ninth round of talks between the Washington envoy and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar as stated yesterday by US negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad.
Reporting to the Afghan president on the outcome of his recent talks with the militants, the senior US official reiterated his government's desire to reach a peace agreement. However, he added, it was Donald Trump's final decision.
The details of the draft agreement were long overdue. Speaking to a local agency Tolo News, the Washington correspondent said that "in the beginning, we have it. The agreement is concluded ".
It provides for the withdrawal of over 5,000 US troops, out of a total of 14,000 soldiers, and the closure of four military bases within 135 days, that is, mid-January 2020.
The diplomat reports that the aim of the agreement is to have a peace accord that leads to a reduction in violence.
However, the parties did not commit a ceasefire of hostilities. According to civil society activists, laying down arms is instead the only solution to a conflict that since 2001 has caused over 32,000 civilian victims. Since the invasion of the country, wanted by the then American president George W. Bush as a response to the attacks on the Twin Towers in 2001, 3,500 soldiers of the international coalition have died, of which 2,300 were Americans.
According to the United Nations, in 2018 the clashes caused 3,804 casualties among the population. Of these, at least 927 were children, innocent lives sacrificed on the altar of war. Every day the country is battered by attacks on schools, hospitals and organizations that work to ensure a better future for the people.
Just yesterday, while the summit meeting was taking place, life in Kabul was broken by yet another explosion, which claimed the lives of 16 people and wounded another 119. This time, the militants' goal was a compound that housed foreigners .