Pompeo sees breakthrough in Taliban talks, wants ‘significant’ reduction in violence

Pompeo sees breakthrough in Taliban talks, wants ‘significant’ reduction in violence

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has had “a pretty important breakthrough” in peace talks with the Taliban over the past couple of days, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday, but he cautioned that Washington wants to see a significant fall in violence in Afghanistan before starting wider discussions.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said earlier that the United States and the Taliban have been negotiating a proposal for a seven-day reduction in violence, in what lawmakers said was a test for the hardline insurgents.

Sources had told Reuters a U.S.-Taliban peace deal could be signed this month, a move that would pave the way for a withdrawal from Afghanistan of some 13,000 U.S. troops and thousands of other NATO personnel, 18 years after a U.S.-led coalition invaded following the Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaeda attacks on the United States.

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