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US and Taliban have 'negotiated a proposal for a seven day reduction in violence,' Pentagon chief says

Posted February 13, 2020 9:54 a.m. EST

— Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced Thursday that the US and Taliban "have negotiated a proposal for a seven day reduction in violence."

"The United States and the Taliban have negotiated a proposal for a seven day reduction in violence. I'm here today consulting with Allies about this proposal and we've had a series of productive bilateral and collective meetings about the parh forward," Esper said, speaking from NATO headquarters.

"We've said all along that the best if not only solution in Afghanistan is a political agreement. Progress has been made on this front, and will have more to report on that soon, I hope," he added.

Esper said the proposal will be conditions based.

CNN reported earlier this week that the Trump administration is seeking to announce a deal to deescalate violence with the Afghan Taliban as soon as this week, according to two US defense officials familiar with the discussions.

The prospective deal is being described as a "reduction in violence announcement," which would call for a ceasefire period between the coalition and the Taliban, with hopes of a peace deal being reached in the near future.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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