a withdrawal of five bases expected within 135 days

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The draft peace agreement negotiated between the United States and the Taliban, which was presented Monday to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, provides for a US withdrawal of five military bases within 135 days. According to US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who was received by the Afghan president, the US military will withdraw its forces from five military bases in Afghanistan if the Taliban honor their commitments.
"We have agreed, if the conditions are in accordance with the agreement, that we will leave within 135 days five bases in which we are currently present," he said in an interview with the Afghan channel Tolo News.

For his part, Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the Afghan president, stressed that the "efforts of the Americans and other partners will bear fruit when the Taliban enter into direct negotiations with the Afghan government".

Ghani has appointed a 15-member delegation to meet with the Taliban at the planned inter-Afghan talks in Norway in the coming weeks. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed hope that a peace agreement could be reached by September 1, ahead of the elections scheduled for September 28 in Afghanistan.

The vote will proceed as planned by that date, according to Ghani, except that observers are unconvinced because of the violence in the country.



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