Afghan deal will be hard to assess, fraught with pitfalls

Taliban spokesperson talks about peace prospects

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials and experts say that hopes for ending America’s longest war hinge on maintaining a weeklong fragile truce in Afghanistan that will be difficult to assess and fraught with pitfalls.

In a country that has been wracked by violence for more than 18 years, determining if the agreement has been violated will be a tough task. And there are a number of other groups and elements in the country that would love to see the deal fall through.

The weeklong “reduction in violence” agreement began at midnight Friday local time.

If successful, it will be followed by the signing of a peace accord on Feb. 29.

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