India to attend US-Taliban peace deal event today
Washington, Feb 29: The US is set to sign a deal with the Taliban today. India will attend the landmark signing event of the long-sought peace deal between the US and the Taliban as an "observer".
The agreement, which will be signed in Qatar's capital Doha, will see the phased withdrawal of thousands of US troops from Afghanistan and require the Taliban to initiate a formal dialogue with the Afghan government and other political and civil society groups on a permanent nationwide ceasefire and power-sharing in postwar Afghanistan.
The long-standing war has killed tens of thousands of civilians and Afghanistan remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Some 2.5 million Afghans are registered as refugees abroad and another two million are displaced within their country.
The agreement struck during talks between the US and the Taliban, if maintained, may secure a peace deal that would lead to a withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, fulfilling a campaign promise of President Trump.
The US currently has reportedly less than 14,000 troops in Afghanistan.
Envoys of around 30 countries are expected to be present. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would witness the signing of the agreement.