The United States has reached a truce agreement with the Taliban in Afghanistan, a senior official told the Associated Press Friday.
The agreement establishes a seven-day “reduction in violence” across all of Afghanistan, with long-term peace talks including all parties to begin within 10 days of the end of the “reduction,” the AP reported. The agreement comes as President Donald Trump has been calling for a significant reduction of U.S. military involvement in the Middle East.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mike Esper met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Friday in Germany, where the agreement was presumably signed.
Trump has said for weeks that there must be a reduction of violence in Afghanistan before the U.S. will negotiate for a long-term peace agreement. The Taliban had escalated their operations since September, and the U.S. responded with increased airstrikes.
Trump attempted to reach a peace agreement in 2019 when he invited Afghan and Taliban residents to meet at Camp David on September 11. He cancelled the talks, however, after a Taliban attack on US soldiers, combined with backlash to the symbolism of hosting terrorists on the anniversary of 9/11. (RELATED: Pompeo Defends Using Camp David To Meet With Taliban)
The agreement comes months after Trump withdrew troops from Syria. Many of his fellow Republicans criticized the decision, arguing it was unjust to abandon Kurdish allies in the region.