The US has officially signed an historic peace deal with the Taliban that would pave the way for the Afghan government to start negotiations with the group, the White House announced Monday.
In a ceremony in Kabul, President Donald Trump and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani signed the Joint Statement of Understanding on Afghan-U.S. Cooperation on Security and Cooperation (Joint Statement), a statement issued by the White Houses press secretary.
Under the deal, the Taliban will be required to surrender to Afghan forces a significant portion of their territory, and all militants and fighters in Afghanistan will be granted full rights under the constitution.
The deal also calls for the establishment of an Afghan National Security Council, an advisory body to oversee security in Afghanistan, and the establishment, monitoring and control of a national intelligence agency.
“The President and the Afghan President today signed a historic peace agreement that will lead to a durable peace in Afghanistan and bring lasting peace to the country,” Trump said in the statement.
“The deal ensures that the United States will continue to support the Afghan Government as it advances toward its security goals.”
The Joint Statement, which was signed by Ghani and Trump, said the US will continue providing assistance to the Afghan National Government as long as it is committed to a peace process.
“We reaffirm our commitment to the Afghans, our friendship, and our steadfast commitment to mutual respect and the rule of law,” Ghani said in a statement.