US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump

Trump meets his top security advisors to discuss US-Taliban peace plan

ANI | Updated: Aug 17, 2019 07:28 IST

Washington (US) Aug 17 (ANI): US President Donald Trump on Friday met with his top national security advisers to review US-Taliban peace plan and said many on the opposite side of the war in Afghanistan are looking to make a peace deal.
"Just completed a very good meeting on Afghanistan. Many on the opposite side of this 19-year war, and us, are looking to make a deal - if possible," Trump tweeted.
Trump held a meeting in Bedminster with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, national security adviser John Bolton, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and Zalmay Khalilzad, US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, CNN reported.
"Discussions centred around our ongoing negotiations and eventual peace and reconciliation agreement with the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan," according to Hogan Gidley, White House principal deputy press secretary. "The meeting went very well, and the negotiations are proceeding."
The United States is preparing to withdraw thousands of its troops from Afghanistan as part of an agreement with the Taliban to end the 18-year-long war.
Earlier this month, Khalilzad had said the Taliban have indicated that they are willing to sign the peace agreement.
Meanwhile, the Taliban has also said that it is hopeful to reach an agreement.
Suhail Shaheen, the spokesperson for the Taliban's political office in Qatar, had recently told the Voice of America that they are hopeful of reaching an agreement with the United States during the upcoming talks. Shaheen added that the Taliban negotiators have done their part and it is now up to the American side whether they have "made up their mind" and take the next step of winding up the dialogue process.
Understandably, once the agreement between the US and the Taliban is inked, it will require the latter to immediately enter into negotiations with Afghan stakeholders. It may be noted that the Taliban, so far, have consistently refused to hold direct talks with President Ashraf Ghani's government, denouncing it as a puppet administration. (ANI)