PV International Desk : The United States said Thursday it has secured a seven-day reduction in violence in Afghanistan that it hopes will allow it to strike a deal with the Taliban, as President Donald Trump said a peace accord was “very close.”

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced the partial truce proposal following a NATO meeting in Brussels — a day after Afghan President Ashraf
Ghani reported “notable progress” in negotiations with the Islamist extremists.

In a radio interview later Thursday, Trump said the United States and the Taliban were nearing a peace agreement — although it was not clear if he was
talking about the limited pause in hostilities agreed with the guerrillas or something broader.

“I think we’re very close. I think there’s a good chance that we’ll have a deal and we’ll see,” Trump said, more than 18 years after the US invaded to overthrow the then Taliban government in the wake of the September 11 attacks.