Trump hopes for US-Taliban peace deal

Trump hopes for US-Taliban peace deal

Agency News

Washington, Aug 17 : US President Donald Trump floated possibility to consider a deal with the Taliban that could lead to the withdrawal of US forces from war-torn Afghanistan, after meeting with his top national security advisers.

"Just completed a very good meeting on Afghanistan. Many on the opposite side of this 19 year war, and us, are looking to make a deal -- if possible!" Trump tweeted on Friday.
Trump met with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Central Intelligence Agency Director Gina Haspel, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Marine Gen Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, national security adviser John Bolton and Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special envoy leading the peace talks at his New Jersey golf resort to review negotiations with the extremist group about a possible US troop pullout from Afghanistan.

"Discussions centered around our ongoing negotiations and eventual peace and reconciliation agreement with the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan," the White House said in statement.

Earlier, Washington has said that it wanted a peace deal finalised by September 1, and some US officials have hinted at the possibility that the Afghan presidential election set for September 28 could be canceled in the event of a peace settlement.

Despite the talks with US representatives, Taliban negotiators have so far refused to talk directly to the Afghan government in Kabul, calling it a puppet of foreigners.
The United States maintained 14,000 troops in Afghanistan, providing training to Afghan forces, conducting counter terrorism operations and support for US air operations.(UNI)