US promises to halve its troops by April | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 07, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, February 07, 2019

AFGHANISTAN CONFLICT

US promises to halve its troops by April

Says Taliban; two Afghan journos killed in attack

A Taliban official said yesterday that the United States had promised to withdraw half of its troops from Afghanistan by the end of April during talks last month, RIA news agency reported, more than past estimates of the planned pull-out.

There was no immediate reaction from the Pentagon or the US Department of State to the comments from a member of a Taliban delegation visiting Moscow.

But they came a day after President Donald Trump told Americans his administration had accelerated talks for a political settlement in Afghanistan and would be able to reduce US troops there as negotiations advance to end America's longest war.

US and Taliban delegations met in Qatar in January and are due to meet again in February. A US official at last month's meeting said significant progress was made, though more talks were needed on US demands for a Taliban ceasefire before any withdrawal and other issues.

Meanwhile, two journalists were shot and killed when gunmen stormed their radio station in northeast Afghanistan, officials said yesterday.

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