US-Taliban deal to come within days: President Ghani

By: The Kabul Times

KABUL: At the Munich Security Conference, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said the US-Taliban deal to be made in a week to ten days, adding that the US and Afghanistan are now on the same page.
Addressing a panel at the Munich Security Conference, President Ghani said the other day that his government is taking a practical approach to resolving the 18-year-long Afghan conflict.
“We are not going to solve this conflict on the basis of ‘paper discussions,’” he added.
President Ghani expressed some doubts about the Taliban’s intention, alluding to the “Trojan Horse strategy,” but said that he needed to test the group’s commitment, nonetheless. “We are going to take a substantial step forward and test. Testing is going to reveal [if the peace with the Taliban works].” The US-Taliban deal seems closer than ever after the militant group agreed to a seven-day reduction of violence in Afghanistan. US President Donald Trump on Thursday said a peace agreement was “very close.”
On Friday, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who also spoke at the conference, and President Ghani were ironing out the peace deal details in Munich, with a formal announcement expected sometime next week.
“We are on the same page. There are risks, but we see an opportunity,” President Ghani said. “There is mutual trust [between the US and Afghanistan] that we can do this together. And because of this, we agreed not to make an announcement [here] yesterday or today. We are going to make an announcement within a week to 10 days in a coordinated and choreographed fashion,” he added.
Esper also said on Saturday that the agreement between the US and the Taliban “looks very promising.”

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