Secretary of State Mike Pompeo landed in Qatar’s capital city, Doha on Saturday to witness the signing of a historic deal with Taliban insurgents in an effort to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan, Reuters informed.
Pompeo arrived on a flight from Washington and was due to hold a meeting with the Qatari Emir before attending the signing ceremony.
The deal paves the way for the United States to gradually withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. But there are doubts over whether it will lead to a lasting peace as it merely paves the way for talks between the Afghan sides that many expect could be much more complicated.
Hours before the deal, the Taliban ordered all its fighters in Afghanistan “to refrain from any kind of attack … for the happiness of the nation.”
“The biggest thing is that we hope the U.S. remain committed to their promises during the negotiation and peace deal,” said Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the hardline Islamist group.
Mujahid said it was “irritating and provocative” that foreign military aircraft continued to fly over Taliban territory, but militia fighters were following the order to stand-down, Reuters writes.
Millions of Afghans are hoping that the deal could pave the way for an end to America’s longest war, fought in their country.