Taliban and representatives of the government of Afghanistan, including some government officials on Tuesday agreed to a basic road map for negotiating the country’s political future.

The landmark agreement is seen as a major step which could help propel peace efforts to end the long war, now in its 18th year.

In a joint declaration after two days of unprecedented and often emotional discussions in the Qatari capital, Doha, the two sides emphasized  the need to work towards reducing civilian casualties to zero.

They also assured that the fundamental human rights of women in political, social, economic, educational would cultural affairs  would be guaranteed.

The declaration is however not binding and is at best a starting point for when the two sides would meet later for negotiations which could lead to fixed terms.

Although the declaration might not immediately de-escalate the violence in Afghanistan, it will help push forward a peace process between United States diplomats and the Taliban.

The Taliban had maintained that direct negotiations with the Afghans would start only after the US announces a timeline for the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan.