A deal between the US and the Afghan Taliban is expected to be signed on 29 February, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
He took to Twitter to announce the news.
After decades of conflict, we have come to an understanding with the Taliban on a significant reduction in violence across #Afghanistan. This is an important step on a long road to peace, and I call on all Afghans to seize this opportunity.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) February 21, 2020
The Taliban spokesman has confirmed that the movement will sign an agreement with Washington on 29 February in the presence of international observers.
NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg has welcomed Pompeo's announcement, saying that this could "pave the way for negotiations among Afghans."
Earlier on Friday, Reuters reported, citing an Afghan official, that the Taliban and Afghan forces had agreed to reduce violence in Afghanistan for seven days starting at midnight (19:30 GMT).
The US and the Taliban have been involved in peace negotiations since 2018, trying to reach a deal that would ensure the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan in exchange for guarantees from the Taliban that the country won't be used by terrorists as a safe haven. The talks did not include the Afghan government since the Taliban refused to have a dialogue with Kabul.
The Taliban have been leading an insurgency against the Afghan government since the early 2000s.
In November 2019, US President Donald Trump announced his intention to reduce the number of US troops stationed in Afghanistan from 14,000 to 8,000. However, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said that a US contingent, irrespective of its size, would remain in the country for "several more years" until the Afghan forces are "able to sustain their own internal security".