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Trump Sending Pompeo To Witness Signing Of Deal With Taliban

FILE: U.S. President Donald Trump accompanied by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a news conference at the JW Marriott Hanoi in February 2019.

U.S. President Donald Trump says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is being sent to oversee the signing of deal with the Taliban aimed at reducing number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

The agreement is due to be signed in Doha on February 29.

Trump in a statement on February 28 also called on the Taliban and the Afghan government to "seize this opportunity for peace," and said that if they fulfill their commitments, "We will have a powerful path forward to end the war in Afghanistan and bring our troops home."

The Taliban has so far refused to talk directly with the Kabul government, calling it a puppet of foreign powers.

The anticipated signing of the deal would come after a week in which both U.S.-led forces and the Taliban committed to a "reduction in violence." Under the plan being signed, the United States is to reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan to 8,600 from about 13,000.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters