DOHA: The United States and Taliban signed a landmark peace agreement on Saturday in Doha bringing an end to the nearly two decades old war in Afghanistan.
US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and representative of Taliban Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar signed the agreement.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Qatari Emir, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his counterparts from seven countries and representatives from fifty countries.
Speaking on the occasion, Leader of Taliban delegation Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar expressed full commitment to the agreement by his side. He said as a political force we want to maintain positive relations with all neighbors, regional countries and the international community who played a key role in this agreement.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar said they want unity and prosperity of their country and called upon all factions to make this deal working. He thanked Pakistan for its assistance and support in making the deal successful. He also appreciated the role of China, Russia, Iran, Uzbekistan, Norway, Indonesia and other countries in supporting the peace process.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in his address said the agreement is a true test of the effort to give peace a chance. He said it will ensure that Afghanistan never becomes a base of terrorists again. Mike Pompeo said the reduction in violence is not perfect, but the Taliban demonstrated that when they have the will to be peaceful, they can be.
Appreciating the US Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, he said he played a critical role in making the negotiations successful. He urged Taliban to sit with Afghan government to determine the course for future of Afghanistan.
“Today is a monumental day for Afghanistan,” the U.S. Embassy in Kabul said on Twitter. “It is about making peace and crafting a common brighter future. We stand with Afghanistan.”
Earlier, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani said the signing of this agreement became possible after phased negotiations and this will lead to the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan.
He said the state of Qatar, its leadership and people are pleased to witness the signing of peace agreement that will lead to fruitful and successful relations between the two sides.
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper meanwhile traveled to Kabul and will issue a joint declaration reassuring the Afghan government about the United States’ commitment to the country.
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