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U.S. and Taliban Near Deal to End War

The U.S. and the Taliban are expected to announce a decline in violence in Afghanistan in the coming days, a development that could lead to the signing of a deal to withdraw all U.S. troops from the country. However, all parties have cautioned that progress is fragile, and many issues still have to be sorted out. President Trump signed off on the proposed plan even as violence continued to engulf Afghanistan. People familiar with the matter said that spoilers, such as the Afghan government which has been left out of the negotiations so far, could have reasons for seeking to scuttle the agreement. There are four main components of the proposed U.S.-Taliban agreement: the U.S. will withdraw all its forces; the Taliban will renounce ties with al Qaeda and other terrorist groups; there will be a reduction in violence; and talks between Afghan parties must take place to decide the country’s future. Several Afghan interest groups are likely to participate in those discussions, the location for which has yet to be finalized, though Oslo, Norway is one of the leading candidates.

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