US signs joint declaration with Afghanistan’s Taliban

2 March 2020 (Last Updated March 2nd, 2020 12:51)

The US and Taliban have signed a joint declaration agreement putting an end to nearly 19 years of war in Afghanistan.

US signs joint declaration with Afghanistan’s Taliban
Officials during the US-Afghanistan joint declaration announcement. Credit: Army Staff Sgt. Nicole Mejia, DoD.

The US and Taliban have signed a joint declaration agreement putting an end to nearly 19 years of war in Afghanistan.

The agreement was signed in Doha, Qatar. Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said it will conform to the agreement.

The negotiated political settlement includes counterterrorism guarantees, Afghan-to-Afghan negotiations and a ceasefire, which have all been agreed by the Taliban.

It also covers condition-based withdrawal of foreign forces in the country. Troops may leave the country in 14 months.

US Defense Secretary Dr Mark T Esper said: “Today’s release of the joint declaration between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States marks a pivotal moment in the peace process.

“Our declaration acknowledges the deep bond shared by Afghan and US Forces, and reflects our commitment to working together to achieve a sustainable, negotiated agreement that ends the war, for the benefit of all Afghans.

“Central to this agreement are measures to prevent the use of Afghan soil by terrorist groups or other individuals who seek to harm the United States or our allies.”

According to Esper, a ‘deliberate phase’ will be initiated with US troops being redeployment from Afghanistan. The number of forces will be initially decreased to 8,600.

Nearly 800,000 US troops have served in Afghanistan after the attacks on 11 September 2001.

However, the secretary noted that these developments will take place only if the agreements listed out in the joint declaration are fulfilled by the Taliban.

The US and coalition nations will continue to support the Afghan Government as the process progresses.

Esper said: “All of our decisions moving forward are conditions-based and require the Taliban to maintain the ongoing reduction in violence.

“If the Taliban fail to uphold their commitments, they will forfeit their chance to engage in negotiations with the Afghan government and will not have a say in the future of this country.”

Furthermore, US and Nato forces will continue with their training, advice and assist efforts in the country.