The U.S. would reportedly withdraw nearly 5,000 troops from five bases in Afghanistan within five months under a draft peace deal with the Taliban.
The deal, which took months of negotiations, still requires President Trump’s approval, Reuters reports. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has been briefed on the accord and will reportedly look it over in detail before weighing in.
In addition to the troop withdrawal, if the deal is signed the Taliban will not allow militants to use Afghanistan to plan attacks on the United States or its allies, Reuters reports. The agreement also includes a provision for “intra-Afghan” talks to end the clash between the Taliban and Kabul’s Western-backed government.
Ghani has met with special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and plans to “study and assess” the specifics of the agreement, according to Reuters.
A spokesman told reporters that “for us, a meaningful peace or a path to a meaningful peace is the end of violence and direct negotiation with the Taliban.”
The United States has about 14,000 troops in America’s longest war, spanning 18 years, on a mission of training, advising and assisting Afghan forces in their fight against the Taliban, as well as conducting counterterrorism missions against groups such as al Qaeda and ISIS.
The talks also come amid continued violence, including an attack on a wedding last month in Kabul that killed 63 people. ISIS’s Afghanistan branch has claimed responsibility for the attack, sending a reminder that violence is likely to persist even if the Taliban agrees to stop.
Finalization of a deal has also been obstructed by the Taliban’s refusal of inter-Afghan talks, which the United States has advocated for. The Taliban considers the Afghan government illegitimate.
If the agreement goes into effect, the amount of troops in the country would be similar to when Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, the Associated Press reports.