US Considers Recent Agreement With Taliban As 'Important Breakthrough' - Pompeo

US Considers Recent Agreement With Taliban as 'Important Breakthrough' - Pompeo

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th February, 2020) The United States considers its recent agreement with the Taliban for a week-long reduction of violence in Afghanistan to be a significant breakthrough in the peace process, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on Thursday.

"I don't have much to add yet, other than we have made real progress over the last handful of days...We're actively engaged in those conversations and we had something we consider a pretty important breakthrough over the last few days," Pompeo said when asked about an update on peace talks with the Taliban.

Pompeo added that US President Donald Trump has given the State Department the authorization to continue negotiations with the Taliban to ensure the movement can deliver on its commitment.

Earlier on Thursday, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper during a press conference in Brussels said the seven-day truce will test whether the Taliban is serious about taking further steps in the peace process.

The United States and the Taliban have been trying to negotiate a peace deal since 2018 that would ensure the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan in exchange for the movement's guarantee that the country will not become a safe haven for terrorists.

Both parties have been meeting regularly in Qatar, but talks were twice suspended in recent months due to Taliban attacks.

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