US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States will calibrate the pace of its withdrawal from Afghanistan according to the actions of the Taliban. Speaking in Doha ahead of the signing of a peace deal, Pompeo said that the US will "closely watch the Taliban for their compliance with their commitments and calibrate the pace of our withdrawal with their actions".
“This is how we will ensure that Afghanistan never again serves as a base for international terrorists," said Pompeo.
Washington and Kabul, in a joint declaration, said that the US will reduce the number of its military forces in Afghanistan to 8,600 and implement other commitments of the agreement within 135 days of the declaration and the US-Taliban agreement. It said that reduction in the number of coalition forces is subject to the Taliban’s fulfilment of its commitments under the US-Taliban agreement.
Earlier on Saturday, the Taliban has reportedly ordered its fighters to refrain from attacks as Kabul was set to sign the agreement with the United States aimed at ensuring peace in Afghanistan. According to media reports, Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid hoped that the US remains committed to its promises made in the peace deal.
Speaking about the peace deal, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said that all contents in the agreement are 'conditions-based'. He added that the withdrawal of the foreign forces from the region will depend on the Taliban's fulfilment of their commitments.
"On behalf of the people of Afghanistan, I thank the NATO organisation and the United States of America for their financial and military support," said Ghani.
"Our sacrifice has been immense, both in the martyrdom of the ANDSF and our civilians. Children, youth in their prime, and men and women of all ages and walks of life had their lives taken away by senseless acts of terror and violence in public spaces," he added.
(With ANI inputs)