The U.S and the Taliban signed a peace deal on Saturday that could see all American troops withdraw from Afghanistan by May 2021, therefore ending the conflict that began few years ago.
The complete withdrawal of U.S and coalition troops is contingent on a guarantee from the Taliban that Afghan soil will not be used by terrorists with aims to attack the United States or its allies.
Over the years, as the U.S helped to train Afghanistan’s military and build up the civilian government, the fighting left 2,309 U.S troops dead and 20,660 injured and cost more than $2 trillion.
“We’ve had tremendous success in Afghanistan in the killing of terrorists, but it’s time after all these years to bring our people back home,” President Trump said at a news conference Saturday in Washington.
The agreement was signed at a ceremony in Doha, Qatar, by U.S Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
“I call on all Afghans to honestly work for peace and gather around the table for peace negotiations,” Baradar said.
According to The NewYork Post, a few key points of the agreement are:
• The U.S will draw down its forces to 8,600 troops from about 12,000, and close five bases, all by mid-July. Remaining troops will be withdrawn by May 2021.
• The Taliban will prevent militant groups from using Afghan soil to threaten the U.S and its allies.
• The Afghan government will release up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners in exchange for 1,000 Afghan security forces held by the Taliban.
• The U.S will work to remove Taliban members from sanctions.
• The Taliban and the Afghan government will start negotiating a comprehensive cease-fire in March.