While the US and Taliban are close to a peace deal to end the 8-year war in Afghanistan, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has declined to sign the Afghan peace deal, TIME Magazine reported
On Monday, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, who is in Kabul after wrapping up Doha said at the US and the Taliban have reached an agreement in principle and it is closed, but added that the document is not final until US President Trump approves it.
The two sides have held nine rounds of talks in the past ten months.
But the deal doesn’t ensure several crucial things, those familiar with the discussions tell TIME. It doesn’t guarantee the continued presence of U.S. counterterrorism forces to battle al Qaeda, the survival of the pro-U.S. government in Kabul, or even an end to the fighting in Afghanistan.
According to Time magazine, the Taliban has asked for Pompeo to sign an agreement with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the official name of the government founded by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 1996.
“No one speaks with certainty. None,” said an Afghan official taking part in briefings on the deal with Khalilzad. “It is all based on hope. There is no trust. There is no history of trust. There is no evidence of honesty and sincerity from the Taliban,” he added.
Pompeo’s office declined to comment.
If the deal is signed, the US has agreed to withdraw some 5,400 US troops, roughly a third of the present force, from five bases within 135 days.