US, Taliban set peace signing for America’s longest war

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2020. (Source: CNN)

WASHINGTON (AP) — America’s longest war may finally be nearing an end.

More than 18 years after the Afghanistan conflict began in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks, the United States and the Islamists it toppled from power in Afghanistan are poised to sign a peace deal on Saturday.

That will set the stage for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, some of whom were not yet born when the World Trade Center collapsed.

And it promises the potential end of a tremendous American investment of blood and treasure. Negotiations among Afghan factions are still to come.

President Donald Trump say he’s dispatching Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the nation’s top diplomat, to witness the signing of the agreement, which is aimed at beginning a draw down of thousands of U.S. troops and ending America’s 18-year involvement in the war.

Trump said Defense Secretary Mark Esper also will issue a joint declaration with the government of Afghanistan.

The signing is expected to occur Saturday in Doha, Qatar.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.