Washington, Feb 14: President Donald Trump said in an interview on Thursday that United States and Taliban negotiators are “very close” to striking a peace deal that would allow US forces to begin pulling out of Afghanistan after 19 years of war.
“I think we’re very close. I think there’s a good chance that we’ll have a deal and we’ll see,” Trump told iHeart Radio on Thursday. “That doesn’t mean we have one, but we’ll know over the next two weeks.” The tentative deal between the United States and the Taliban would require a one-week slowdown in fighting before any peace agreement is signed, according to media reports.
Trump noted that US forces in Afghanistan are “law enforcement as opposed to soldiers.” The US president said “to a large extent and we shouldn’t be there,” adding “It’s time to come home.” The United States invaded Afghanistan by ousting the Taliban from power shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. The intervention has lasted more than any other conflict the United States has been engaged in following an ill-fated effort to establish a US-style democracy in Afghanistan.
The Taliban fighters have managed to regain control of more territory than they held when the war began, according to US officials.(SPUTNIK)