US President Donald Trump on Friday said that they are “very close” to a peace deal with the Taliban guerrillas in Afghanistan.
Speaking to the Geraldo Rivera’s “Roadkill” on the radio show, Trump said, “I think we’re very close. I think there’s a good chance that we’ll have a deal and we’ll see”.
“That doesn’t mean we’ll have one but we’ll know over the next two weeks,” the US leader further added.
Earlier on Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that there has been a “pretty important breakthrough” in peace talks with the Taliban in recent days.
Pompeo said the US president had given the go-ahead for further talks. He hailed recent progress, but said the negotiations were complicated and that a peace deal had not yet been reached, the BBC reported.
Earlier, the Afghan government disclosed a list of delegates for the peace negotiating team once the US and the Taliban finalize their peace deal.
Last year, in September, Zalmay Khalilzad, Washington’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation had said that the US and Taliban are “at the threshold of an agreement” that would reduce violence and open the door for Afghans to sit together and negotiate.
In August, peace talks between Washington and the Taliban had to reach a deal on the withdrawal of thousands of American troops collapsed after President Trump cited an attack that killed a US soldier as his reason for pulling out of negotiations. The talks did not include the Afghan government.
The Taliban had never agreed to end their violent campaign against Afghan and foreign forces while negotiations were taking place. Sixteen US troops have been killed this year.
In 2001, US-led forces overthrew the Taliban government in Afghanistan because the militants had given safe haven to the Al-Qaeda network to plan the attacks on the US on September 11.