U.S., Taliban reach truce that could lead to troop withdrawal

The United States has reached a week-long truce agreement with the Taliban that could lead to U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, according to a senior administration official on Friday.

The 7-day reduction of violence agreement would take effect 'very soon', the official said… and it would cover the entire country of Afghanistan, including Afghan forces.

The U.S. military would also monitor violence levels to verify whether or not the Taliban was honoring its commitments.

And if the week-long truce is successful, then talks would move into the next phase of negotiations, involving all parties.

The announcement comes after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani during the Munich Security Forum in Germany on Friday.

And after prolonged negotiations in the Qatari capital Doha between the U.S. and the Taliban.

There are about 13,000 U.S. troops as well as thousands of other NATO personnel in Afghanistan, nearly two decades after the U.S.-led coalition invaded Afghanistan following the Sept 11th al Qaeda attacks.

The United States is aiming to cut that number down to about 9,000 troops.