US President Donald Trump on Sunday said that he would sign a peace deal with the Taliban if one were eventually reached in Afghanistan.
“Yes,” he told reporters at the White House as he prepared to depart on a trip to India. “I would put my name on it.”
His comments came after a partial truce took effect in Afghanistan on Saturday, with the Taliban, US, and Afghan forces agreeing to a week-long “reduction in violence.”
“I want to see how this period of a week works out”, the US president added.
“If it works out over the next less-than-a-week, I would put my name on it. Time to come home. And they want to stop,” he said.
“I think the Taliban want to make a deal too. They’re tired of fighting.”
On Friday, President Ashraf Ghani said that a seven-day reduction in violence promised by the Taliban will determine the government’s next steps in the country’s peace process.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the US and Taliban are expected to sign an agreement on February 29.
Any future treaty is expected to stipulate a gradual withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, which is seen as the phase before the start of intra-Afghan peace negotiations.
Ghani said Afghan security forces will be “on high alert” during the week-long de-escalation, which is due to begin at midnight, and will be closely monitoring the situation.
On Tuesday, election authorities said Ghani won 50.64% of the vote, or 923,592 ballots, while Abdullah received 39.52% or 720,841 ballots.
Abdullah’s campaign chief hinted at the use of force if the dispute could not be resolved. “We are out of the election process,” Fazal Ahmad Manawi said on Twitter. “The reasons for this lack of legitimacy is clear to all as much as the sun is.
Last week, Ghani voiced cautious optimism about a partial truce agreed between the Taliban and US and said that a further announcement was expected in the coming 10 days.
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.