US President Donald Trump expressed his optimism over talks between the Taliban and American negotiators as the two sides are trying to chalk out a deal on the withdrawal of US forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with the Afghan government.
Ending its 18-year-old conflict President Trump said, “We’re there for one reason, we don’t want that to be a laboratory, it can’t be a laboratory for terror,” TOLO News quoted on Sunday before boarding the Air Force One in New Jersey.
“And we have things under control, very well with a small force. We can probably make it a little bit smaller and then we’ll decide. It’ll depend on the Taliban. It will depend on the Afghan government.”
“But there is a case to be made and the case also is that we’re going to be leaving very significant intelligence behind for just the reasons I stated.”
About 14,000 US troops remain in Afghanistan, training and advising Afghan security forces and conducting counter-insurgency operations. As United States plans to leave Afghanistan, many believe it could give space to civil war if things do not go as planned.
“And we have a very very good view. I mean some things are going to be announced over the next couple of weeks as to what happened, who’s been taken out. A lot of people have been taken out that were very bad, both IS and Al Qaeda,” he added.
Both US negotiators and the Taliban have reported progress after eight rounds of talks since late last year. With America backing country’s government in Kabul and its security forces and Taliban talking about peace, only time will tell how successful the negotiations go.
On August 7, Taliban claimed a bomb attack outside a police station in Kabul which killed 14 and injured nearly 150 people.