The Weekend Leader - US cautions Taliban against breaking violence reduction deal

US cautions Taliban against breaking violence reduction deal




US President Donald Trump's National Security Adviser (NSA) Robert O'Brien has said that the US would be unlikely to sign an agreement with the Afghan Taliban should the latter fail to comply with a reduction of violence deal.

"If the Taliban does not live up to their agreement on the reduction of violence plan, then we'll take a very careful look at it, and I think it'd be unlikely that we'd sign a peace treaty," O'Brien said during an interview with CBS News on Sunday.

"We're not going to reduce troops to a level below what is necessary to protect American interests and our partners in Afghanistan," he added.

Earlier in the day, Trump told reporters before kicking off his trip to India that the Taliban "are tired of fighting," and both the United States and the Taliban seek to make a deal, Xinhua news agency reported.

The so-called seven-day reduction in violence, which started on Saturday, could be a test for the Taliban leadership to prove its control over its fighters ahead of signing a peace deal with the United States to end the war in Afghanistan.

According to security officials, no major security incidents have been reported from across the country.

Only a convoy of security forces came under attack in Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province at 10:30 a.m. local time Sunday, provincial police spokesman Jamal Barikzai confirmed.

However, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack that left no casualties.

The US and the Afghan Taliban said on Friday that they are set to sign an agreement on February 29 after the implementation of a week-long violence reduction in Afghanistan.

Peace talks between bothe the countries began in 2018 but have been interrupted at least twice after Taliban attacks on US military personnel in September and December last year.

The war in Afghanistan is the longest one in US history. The death toll of US service members has surpassed 2,400 since the country invaded Afghanistan in 2001. Trump has long grumbled about the US military presence in Afghanistan that started in 2001, calling it "ridiculous." -IANS

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