Taliban claims partial US withdrawal imminent
A Taliban representative says the U.S. has promised to withdraw half of its troops from Afghanistan by the end of April.
Taliban official Abdul Salam Hanafi, center, attends the "intra-Afghan" talks in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. [Photo: IC]
Abdul Salam Hanafi made the remarks on the sidelines of a meeting in Moscow between the Taliban and other prominent Afghan figures.
"The Americans told us that from the beginning of February to the end of April, half of troops from Afghanistan will be withdrawn. And as for the remaining troops in Afghanistan, there will be created two technical committees - one US and one Taliban. These committees will work on a timetable for the withdrawal of remaining troops. And according to this timetable, the remaining US troops from Afghanistan will be withdrawn," said Hanafi.
Representatives of the Taliban and prominent Afghan figures including former President Hamid Karzai are meeting in Moscow for the second day of talks.
The meeting is seen as another step in a process aimed at resolving Afghanistan's 17-year war, one that has accelerated since the appointment of US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad last year.
No immediate response has been made by the U.S..
But the Pentagon has reportedly prepared plans to withdraw half its 14,000 troops by the summer.