01:11 GMT30 November 2020
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    The Pentagon announced a decision to reduce its military presence in Afghanistan on 17 November. The decision comes six months after Washington struck a peace deal with the organisation, deemed a terrorist outfit in some countries, suggesting complete US withdrawal in return for the Taliban halting attacks and engaging in talks with the government.

    The Taliban movement* has lauded the Trump administration's decision to reduce the number of troops deployed in Afghanistan down to 2,500 as a measure that would benefit both the US and the country, Newsweek has reported citing a statement from the organisation.

    The group, deemed a terrorist organisation in numerous countries, reportedly stressed that the US military withdrawal, which is to be conducted by 15 January, would facilitate the implementation of a peace deal reached between the Taliban* and Washington in March 2020.

    "It is hoped that the agreement will be implemented properly and efficiently, which is in the interest of both sides and the people. Both sides must abide by the agreement. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan reiterates its commitment to the agreement", the Taliban movement* reportedly said in the statement.

    The decision for the pull-out was announced by newly appointed acting Secretary of Defence Christopher Miller on 17 November. Additionally, the US will be reducing the number of troops stationed in Iraq – also down to 2,500 servicemen, Miller said. Both moves correlate with President Donald Trump's 2016 promise of withdrawing the US from "endless wars", but POTUS has so far failed to withdraw from either of the conflicts completely, leaving small military contingents instead.

    "This is consistent with our established plans and strategic objectives supported by the American people and does not equate to a change in US policy", Christopher Miller assured.

    The US and the Taliban movement* struck a peace deal in March 2020. According to its provisions, the US will be gradually reducing its military presence in the country down to zero over the coming year. The Taliban*, in turn, must stop its attacks in the country and engage in a peace dialogue with its government to achieve a lasting solution to the conflict. The organisation also made a promise of ensuring that Afghanistan will no longer become a safe harbour for terrorist organisations, like al-Qaeda and Daesh*.

    *Taliban, al-Qaeda and Daesh (also known as ISIS or IS) are terrorist organisations banned in Russia


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