US President Donald Trump has confirmed that his administration had resumed talks with the Taliban. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
US President Donald Trump has confirmed that his administration had resumed talks with the Taliban. “Yes,” Trump told a small group of reporters at the Bagram Air Filed on Thursday when asked to confirm whether the US had restarted discussions with the Taliban after calling the peace talks “dead” in September. “The Talbian wants to make a deal and we’re meeting with them and we’re saying it has to be a ceasefire and they didn’t want to do a ceasefire and now they do want to do a ceasefire. I believe it’ll probably work out that way,” he said. Trump an unannounced trip to Afghanistan on Thursday to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with US troops.
“We’re going to stay until such time as we have a deal or we have total victory and they (Taliban) want to make a deal very badly,” he told reporters during a hastily-arranged bilateral meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the air field, the largest US base in Afghanistan.
About 13,000 US troops remain in Afghanistan, 18 years after the United States invaded in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The United States earlier this year reached a deal with the Taliban insurgents to pull troops from the country and wind down America’s longest war in return for security guarantees.
But Trump made a shock move in September, describing the year-long talks as “dead” and withdrawing an invitation to the insurgents to meet near Washington due to the killing of a US soldier.
The White House notified President Ghani about this trip shortly before Trump’s landing in Afghanistan.
According to White House Deputy White House Press Secretary Judd Deere, an invitation was extended “a few hours ago” and Ghani accepted.
After his bilateral with Ghani, Trump addressed a few hundred cheering troops from inside a massive hanger on the air field. Standing in front of a huge American flag and flanked by two tanks, the commander in chief almost immediately brought Afghanistan on stage.
Ghani also thanked the troops for “your support and the bravery of Afghan soldiers, we’ve inflicted an incredible defeat of ISIS.”
This was Trump's second to a conflict zone. Last year, he travelled to Iraq to visit US troops on the day after Christmas.