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Trump says US has resumed talks with Taliban

28 Nov 2019 Al Jazeera

President Donald Trump has said the United States has resumed peace talks with the Taliban as he made an unannounced Thanksgiving visit to the US troops posted in Afghanistan.

Trump's first trip to the South Asian country on Thursday since becoming the president came a week after a prisoner swap between Washington and Kabul that had raised hopes for the revival of peace talks.

"The Taliban wants to make a deal and we are meeting with them and we are 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 will probably work out that way," he told reporters.


Earlier this year, the US reached a deal in principle with the Taliban group to pull out troops from the country and wind down the US'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 group to meet near Washington due to the killing of a US soldier.

The US president had more recently suggested that the negotiations could get under way again.

The Taliban have refused to negotiate formally with the Afghan government, but diplomatic efforts continue to foster dialogue.

Trump's Air Force One presidential plane touched down at Bagram airfield after an overnight flight from Washington with White House National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, a small group of aides and secret service agents, and a pool of reporters.

In a visit due to last about two-and-half hours, he served turkey to troops in a cafeteria, posed for photographs and delivered his remarks in a hangar.

He also met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, though the details of what transpired in their meeting has not been made public yet.

About 13,000 US troops remain in Afghanistan, 18 years after the US invaded the country in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

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