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    US and Taliban to sign peace deal

    NATO welcomed on Friday the announcement of an agreement between Washington and the Taliban, which opens the way for a “lasting peace,” Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated.

    Washington and the Taliban said they would sign the agreement on 29 February provided a partial truce is maintained for a week.

    The agreement would mark a major turn in the conflict, setting the conditions for an agreement that could eventually allow Washington to withdraw US troops after more than 18 years.

    “This is a critical test of the Taliban’s willingness and ability to reduce violence, and contribute to peace in good faith. This could pave the way for negotiations among Afghans, sustainable peace, and ensuring the country is never again a safe haven for terrorists,” he added.

    NATO has a mission of 16,000 men to Afghanistan to train, support and advise local forces.

    The Brussels Times