On Monday the Taliban expressed confidence that till the end of the month in the presence of international guarantors movement will sign the peace agreement with the USA which will finish an 18-year-old war in Afghanistan, informs the site «Afghanistan today».
The high-ranking leader of the group of militants stated that the contradictory sides agreed to hold the signing ceremony in Doha, the capital of Qatar where a 18-month’s negotiations between the USA and the Taliban took place.
One of the main members of the delegation of the Taliban at negotiations Abdul Salam Hanafi and political office of movement in Doha did not name a concrete date, but earlier sources in the militant group said that the agreement will be concluded on February 29.
Hanafi pointed out that representatives of all neighbours of Afghanistan, and also the UN Security Council, the Islamic states and EU will be invited to the ceremony.
The Dialogue process is over, Hanafi said, and « initiated the final draft of the peace agreement».
He added that soon after signing of the agreement Americans and the Afghani government will release 5 thousand insurgents and the Taliban will release about a thousand prisoners.
Washington, however, underlined that it will move to the signing of the peace agreement with the Taliban only in case of successful realisation of mutually agreed 7-day armistice in Afghanistan. Representatives of the USA noted that a short-term armistice reached last week will come into force “very soon”, but did not name any date though sources from the Taliban assert that it will come into force on February 22.
The reached mutual understanding obliges belligerent parties to stop offensive operations for seven days. If they carry out of their obligations, then they will return to the negotiating table to sign the peace agreement developed by delegations of the Taliban and the USA within last year.
The agreement provides the schedule of removal of the American and coalition forces from Afghanistan, antiterrorist guarantees of the Taliban and process of political reconciliation between the Afghani sides of the conflict.
Hanafi told that the date and place of the Intra-Afghani negotiations about the constant termination of operations and division of the power in post-war Afghanistan are not appointed yet. But these negotiations, he insisted, will begin only after the end of process of release of prisoners.
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, addressing the Munich conference on security last week, stated that a truce agreement “reduction in violence “between the United States and the Taliban that could lead to the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan is not without risk but “looks very promising.” According to Esper, the prospective peace agreement can lead to reduction of number of the present American military contingent of approximately 13 thousand to about 8600 persons.
The Defense Secretary did not specify whether all American armies finally will be removed from Afghanistan, and repeated that antiterrorist missions of the USA will remain.
Representatives of the USA underlined that the process of withdrawal of troops will co-ordinate with the progress reached during peace talks between the Taliban and Kabul, inform the American mass-media.