U.S.-Taliban sign historic troop withdrawal deal in Doha

The U.S. and Taliban insurgents signed a historic deal in Qatar's capital Doha on Saturday (February 29), that could see the end of an 18-year war in Afghanistan - spurring hopes for millions of citizens that years of bloodshed are finally over.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived on a flight from Washington to bear witness to the agreement, which paves the way for the United States to gradually withdraw its troops, and for the Taliban to initiate a formal dialogue with the Afghan government on a permanent nationwide ceasefire - and power-sharing in post-war Afghanistan.

But there are doubts over whether it will lead to a lasting calm, and many anticipate that negotiations could be very complicated.

Hours before the deal though, the Taliban ordered all its fighters in Afghanistan to - quote - "refrain from any kind of attack for the happiness of the nation."

For U.S President Donald Trump, the deal represents a chance to make good on his promise to bring U.S. troops home.

But security experts have also called it a foreign policy gamble - that would give the Taliban international legitimacy.

The war, which has killed tens of thousands of people, began when the United States launched air strikes against Afghanistan, just weeks after the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington by the Afghanistan-based al Qaeda militant group in 2001.