US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced on 13 February that the United States has secured a ‘seven-day reduction in violence’ deal with the Taliban amid reports of “notable progress” being made in negotiations between Washington and the militant group that could lead to intra-Afghan negotiations and a peaceful settlement of the 18-year-old conflict.
"We've said all along that the best, if not only, solution in Afghanistan is a political agreement. Progress has been made on this front and we'll have more to report on that soon," said Esper following a meeting with NATO defence ministers in Brussels, adding, “We are consulting with our allies.
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