US reaches deal with Taliban to reduce Afghanistan attacks, Esper says

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration has achieved an first deal with the Taliban for a reduction in the deadly assaults that have ravaged Afghanistan for years, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters on Friday.  

“The United States and the Taliban have negotiated a proposal for a 7-day reduction in violence,” claimed Esper, who is in Germany for an worldwide security meeting. 

The seven-day clock has not started out ticking, but Trump administration officials hope it will direct to a broader Afghanistan peace deal and a considerable withdrawal of U.S. troops. 

“We have mentioned all together that the finest, if not only, alternative in Afghanistan is a political settlement,” Esper reported. “Development has been manufactured on this entrance, and we’ll have much more to report on that before long, I hope.” 

There are about 13,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan whose mission is split in between coaching Afghan safety forces and conducting counterterrorism missions. The American armed forces existence there dates to 2001 when U.S. troops aided topple the hardline Taliban governing administration that experienced sheltered al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

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