Trump announces resumption of peace talks with Afghan Taliban
Trump announced the resumption of talks with the Taliban
The US President also announced that the Taliban are ready to abide by the ceasefire
ISLAMABAD – US President Donald Trump has announced that his administration has resumed talks with the Taliban and that the group is ready to comply with the ceasefire.
Less than three months ago, Trump abruptly suspended a year-long dialogue with the Taliban as the parties were already close to signing an agreement designed to bring an end to the 18-year war in Afghanistan, which became the longest foreign campaign in US history..
“The Taliban want to conclude an agreement, we are negotiating with them and insist that a ceasefire should be established. They didn’t want a ceasefire, but now they do, ”Trump said during a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Bagram airbase..
“I think it will probably work out that way. Let’s see what happens, ”the President added during an unexpected visit to Afghanistan.
The Taliban, which has repeatedly refused to cease fire until an agreement is reached with the United States on the withdrawal of foreign troops, did not confirm that negotiations were already underway, but expressed their readiness to resume them..
“The Taliban are ready to resume negotiations,” a spokesman for the organization Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters.
“Our position has not changed,” he added. “If negotiations resume, they will resume from the point where they were interrupted.”.
Fewer than 14,000 US troops are currently stationed in Afghanistan. During his first visit to Afghanistan during his presidency, Trump confirmed that he hopes to reduce the contingent to 8,600 people, however, most likely, further actions will depend on the agreement with the Taliban..
“We will stay in the country until there is an agreement or a complete victory, and they really want an agreement,” the president said..
A preliminary agreement reached after negotiations with the Taliban paved the way for the gradual withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan..
The Taliban, in turn, was supposed to provide counter-terrorism guarantees and promise to participate in intra-Afghan peace negotiations aimed at a final cessation of hostilities in the country..
Trump suspended talks on September 7 after a series of attacks in the Afghan capital, one of which killed an American soldier..
President Ghani said after his meeting with Trump that the American leader praised the “tireless” efforts of the Afghan security forces in the fight against the Taliban and militants associated with the Islamic State.
“Both sides stressed that if the Taliban are sincere in their pursuit of peace, they must agree to a ceasefire,” Ghani added..