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Trump holds phone call with Taliban leader Mullah Baradar

KABUL: US President Donald Trump had a phone call with Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Baradar, said spokesperson late Tuesday, days after Washington signed a historic deal.

“The President of the United States… held a phone call with the Political Deputy of the Islamic Emirate, the respected Mullah Baradar Akhund,” spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted.

US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he had held a “very good talk” with the leader of the Taliban, soon after the Taliban spokesman confirmed a call between the US president and Mullah Baradar.

According to Reuters, Mullah Baradar Akhund and US President Donald Trump held a 35-minute telephone call on Tuesday, a Taliban spokesman said, in what may be the first direct discussion between a US leader and a senior Taliban official.

Under the terms of the agreement signed on Saturday in Doha, foreign forces will quit Afghanistan within 14 months, subject to Taliban security guarantees and a pledge to hold talks with Kabul.

Read: US-Taliban peace deal: FM Qureshi calls for ‘change of behaviours’

On February 29, following the successful dialogues, the United States and the Afghan Taliban had signed the historic peace deal, marking an end to the 18-year-war in Afghanistan.

US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar signed the agreement during a ceremony in Doha, Qatar.

Donald Trump Mullah Baradar Afghan Taliban phone call

The signing ceremony was witnessed by  US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Qatari Emir and representatives from fifty countries.

Read: Taliban rule out taking part in Afghan talks until prisoners freed

Main points of the peace agreement:

  • The US will start immediate troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
  • All foreign troops will be withdrawn from Afghan soil.
  • US, Afghan Taliban to exchange prisoners ahead of intra-Afghan talks.
  • Intra-Afghan peace negotiation to commence from 10th of March.
  • Taliban will ensure that Afghan soil will not be used for attacks on the US and its allies.

According to a joint declaration released minutes before the deal was signed, the US and NATO troops will withdraw from Afghanistan within 14 months.

The United States will reduce the number of US military forces in Afghanistan to 8,600 and implement other commitments in the US-Taliban agreement within 135 days of the announcement of this joint declaration and the US-Taliban agreement.

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