Afghan Peace Deal Receives ‘Tremendous Support’: President Trump
The Taliban also released a statement confirming the plan to sign a peace deal with the United States.
The landmark Afghan peace deal has received "tremendous support", President Donald Trump said on Monday, 24 February in India, ahead of a possible agreement between the US and the Taliban in the war-torn country on Saturday, 29 February.
The US is set to sign a peace deal with the Taliban on Saturday, provided that a week-long reduction in violence across the strife-torn country holds, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a recent statement. The Taliban also released a statement confirming the plan to sign a peace deal that day.
"It has received tremendous support," Trump told reporters as he flew on Air Force One from Ahmedabad to Agra, according to CNN.
Trump’s remarks came a day after he said Taliban in Afghanistan were “tired” of fighting and wanted to make a peace deal with America.
Just before his departure for India, Trump told reporters at the White House on Sunday, 23 February that the time had come for the US troops to "come home".
“The Taliban has been fighting for decades. We’ve been over there 19 years. We’re like a law enforcement force. We think they want to make a deal; we want to make a deal. I think it’s going to work out. We’ll see,” he said.
"We're, right now, in a period that's been holding up. You know, we have a certain period of nonviolence. It's been holding up. It's a day and a half. So we'll see what happens. But people want to make a deal, and I think the Taliban wants to make a deal too. They're tired of fighting," he said.
The agreement struck during talks between the US and the Taliban, if maintained, may secure a peace deal that would lead to a withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.
The President said he would sign a peace deal with the Taliban if it worked out over the next week.
"I want to see how this period of a week works out. We can do that very quickly. Assuming it works out over the next less than a week, I would put my name on it. It's time to come home. And they want to stop. You know, they've been fighting a long time. They're tough people, we're tough people. But after 19 years, that's a long time," Trump said.
In November, Trump announced the resumption of peace talks with the Taliban, but refused to give a timeline for the drawdown of the US troops from Afghanistan, as he made an unannounced visit to American soldiers stationed in the war-torn country.
After nine rounds of negotiations with the Taliban, Trump announced in September that he was calling the peace talks off after a US service member was killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul.
The US currently has less than 14,000 troops in Afghanistan, but military officials would not confirm the exact number.
Trump is accompanied by First Lady Melania, daughter Ivanka, son-in-law Jared Kushner and the top brass of his administration on his maiden visit to India.
During his visit, the two countries will significantly ramp up bilateral defence and strategic ties.
The nearly 36-hour-long visit by Trump is also set to send across a clear message of growing congruence of interests on major geopolitical developments in the region and beyond, particularly when China has been expanding its military might and economic clout.
(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)
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