US, Taliban sign agreement to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan

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(VOVWORLD) -The US and the Taliban have signed a landmark peace agreement after nearly 20 years of war that could result in American troops leaving Afghanistan within 14 months.

The deal also paves the way for talks between Afghans to end one of the longest-running conflicts in the world.

At a signing ceremony in Doha on Saturday, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and Taliban deputy leader Mullah Baradar took turns to address a crowd of senior dignitaries. Although the deal was signed by the US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, it was the first time a US cabinet member had met members of the insurgency.

The agreement could represent a chance for peace in the country after years of war and a U.S. troop presence that dates back to 2001.

U.S. and Taliban negotiators have been meeting in Doha since 2018 even though fighting has raged in Afghanistan and thousands of civilians and combatants have been killed as the insurgents have expanded their territorial control.