Joint Declaration between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States of America for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan

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The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, a member of the United Nations
and recognized by the United States and the international community as a
sovereign state under international law, and the United States of America are
committed to working together to reach a comprehensive and sustainable peace
agreement that ends the war in Afghanistan for the benefit of all Afghans and
contributes to regional stability and global security. A comprehensive and
sustainable peace agreement will include four parts: 1) guarantees to prevent
the use of Afghan soil by any international terrorist groups or individuals against
the security of the United States and its allies, 2) a timeline for the
withdrawal of all U.S. and Coalition forces from Afghanistan, 3) a political
settlement resulting from intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations between the
Taliban and an inclusive negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of
Afghanistan, and 4) a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire. These four parts
are interrelated and interdependent. Pursuit of peace after long years of
fighting reflects the goal of all parties who seek a sovereign, unified
Afghanistan at peace with itself and its neighbors.

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States have
partnered closely since 2001 to respond to threats to international peace and
security and help the Afghan people chart a secure, democratic and prosperous
future. The two countries are committed to their longstanding relationship and
their investments in building the Afghan institutions necessary to establish
democratic norms, protect and preserve the unity of the country, and promote
social and economic advancements and the rights of citizens. The commitments
set out here are made possible by these shared achievements. Afghan and U.S.
security forces share a special bond forged during many years of tremendous
sacrifice and courage. The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the people of
Afghanistan reaffirm their support for peace and their willingness to negotiate
an end to this war.

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan welcomes the Reduction in Violence
period and takes note of the U.S.-Taliban agreement, an important step toward
ending the war. The U.S-Taliban agreement paves the way for intra-Afghan
negotiations on a political settlement and a permanent and comprehensive
ceasefire. The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan reaffirms its readiness to
participate in such negotiations and its readiness to conclude a ceasefire with
the Taliban.

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan furthermore reaffirms its ongoing
commitment to prevent any international terrorist groups or individuals, including
al-Qa’ida and ISIS-K, from using Afghan soil to threaten the security of the
United States, its allies and other countries. To accelerate the pursuit of
peace, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan confirms its support for the phased
withdrawal of U.S. and Coalition forces subject to the Taliban’s fulfillment of
its commitments under the U.S.-Taliban agreement and any agreement resulting
from intra-Afghan negotiations.

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States therefore
have made the following commitments:

PART ONE

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States recognize
that al-Qa’ida, ISIS-K and other international terrorist groups or individuals
continue to use Afghan soil to recruit members, raise funds, train adherents and
plan and attempt to conduct attacks that threaten the security of the United
States, its allies, and Afghanistan. To address this continuing terrorist
threat, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States will continue
to take the following steps to defeat al-Qa’ida, its affiliates, and other
international terrorist groups or individuals:

1. The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan reaffirms its continued
commitment not to cooperate with or permit international terrorist groups or
individuals to recruit, train, raise funds (including through the production or
distribution of narcotics), transit Afghanistan or misuse its
internationallyrecognized travel documents, or conduct other support activities
in Afghanistan, and will not host them.

2. The United States re-affirms its commitments regarding support for
the Afghan security forces and other government institutions, including through
ongoing efforts to enhance the ability of Afghan security forces to deter and
respond to internal and external threats, consistent with its commitments under
existing security agreements between the two governments. This commitment
includes support to Afghan security forces to prevent al-Qa’ida, ISIS-K, and
other international terrorist groups or individuals from using Afghan soil to
threaten the United States and its allies.

3. The United States re-affirms its readiness to continue to conduct
military operations in Afghanistan with the consent of the Islamic Republic of
Afghanistan in order to disrupt and degrade efforts by al-Qa’ida, ISIS-K, and
other international terrorist groups or individuals to carry out attacks
against the United States or its allies, consistent with its commitments under
existing security agreements between the two governments and with the existing
understanding that U.S. counterterrorism operations are intended to complement
and support Afghan security forces’ counterterrorism operations, with full
respect for Afghan sovereignty and full regard for the safety and security of
the Afghan people and the protection of civilians.

4. The United States commits to facilitate discussions between
Afghanistan and Pakistan to work out arrangements to ensure neither country’s
security is threatened by actions from the territory of the other side.

PART TWO

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States have
consulted extensively on U.S. and Coalition force levels and the military
activities required to achieve the foregoing commitments including through
support to Afghan security and defense forces. Subject to the Taliban’s
fulfillment of its commitments under the U.S.-Taliban agreement, the Islamic
Republic of Afghanistan, the United States, and the Coalition jointly assess
that the current levels of military forces are no longer necessary to achieve
security objectives; since 2014, Afghan security forces have been in the lead
for providing security and have increased their effectiveness. As such, the
parties commit to take the following measures:

1. The United States will reduce the number of U.S. military forces in
Afghanistan to 8,600 and implement other commitments in the U.S.-Taliban
agreement within 135 days of the announcement of this joint declaration and the
U.S.-Taliban agreement, and will work with its allies and the Coalition to
reduce proportionally the number of Coalition forces in Afghanistan over an
equivalent period, subject to the Taliban’s fulfillment of its commitments
under the U.S.- Taliban agreement.

2. Consistent with the joint assessment and determination between the
United States and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the United States, its
allies, and the Coalition will complete the withdrawal of their remaining
forces from Afghanistan within 14 months following the announcement of this
joint declaration and the U.S.-Taliban agreement, and will withdraw all their
forces from remaining bases, subject to the Taliban’s fulfillment of its
commitments under the U.S.-Taliban agreement.

3. The United States re-affirms its commitment to seek funds on a
yearly basis that support the training, equipping, advising and sustaining of
Afghan security forces, so that Afghanistan can independently secure and defend
itself against internal and external threats.

4. To create the conditions for reaching a political settlement and
achieving a permanent, sustainable ceasefire, the Islamic Republic of
Afghanistan will participate in a U.S.-facilitated discussion with Taliban
representatives on confidence building measures, to include determining the
feasibility of releasing significant numbers of prisoners on both sides. The
United States and Islamic Republic of Afghanistan will seek the assistance of
the ICRC to support this discussion.

5. With the start of intra-Afghan negotiations, the Islamic Republic
of Afghanistan commits to start diplomatic engagement with members of the UN
Security Council to remove members of the Taliban from the sanctions list with
the aim of achieving this objective by May 29, 2020, and in any case no later
than 30 days after finalizing a framework agreement and a permanent and
comprehensive ceasefire.

PART THREE

1. The United States will request the recognition and endorsement of
the UN Security Council for this agreement and related arrangements.

2. The United States and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan are
committed to continue positive relations, including economic cooperation for
reconstruction.

3. The United States will refrain from the threat or the use of force
against the territorial integrity or political independence of Afghanistan or
intervening in its domestic affairs.

4. The United States will continue to work to build regional and
international consensus to support the ongoing effort to achieve a political
settlement to the principal conflict in Afghanistan.

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