26 February 2020 - 13:57
News ID: 449292
A
US President Donald Trump has said that it is time to end America's longest war in Afghanistan and come home.

RNA - Trump told reporters on Tuesday in the New Delhi that he is ready to sign a peace deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan if a temporary truce holds.

He said that the US and Taliban are “pretty close” to sign the deal.

“We’re pretty close,” Trump said. “We’ve got two days now under our belt without violence.”

The US and Taliban have agreed to sign the deal on February 29 in the Qatari capital, Doha, following the one-week partial truce. The deal will be finalized only if a week-long cessation of hostility holds in Afghanistan.

“Time to come home,” Trump said on Sunday. “They want to stop. You know, they’ve been fighting a long time. They’re tough people. We’re tough people. But after 19 years, that’s a long time.”

“We think they want to make a deal. We want to make a deal. I think it’s going to work out. We’ll see,” Trump said.

Trump expressed cautious optimism about reaching a peace deal.

“You know we have a certain period of nonviolence. It’s been holding up, it’s a day and a half so we’ll see what happens. But people want to make a deal, and I think the Taliban wants to make a deal too, they’re tired of fighting.”

Pompeo: Afghanistan 'reduction of violence is working'

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday the partial truce in Afghanistan between the Taliban, American and Afghan forces was holding.

"So far the reduction in violence is working -- imperfect, but it's working," he told reporters in Washington.

Pompeo said the US and Taliban were on the cusp of an "enormous political opportunity."

“Make no mistake about it: we want to make sure that those who want the status quo -- bloodshed, tears, economic challenges; all of those people who have an interest, whether that's because of corruption or because some ideological view -- can't spoil what it is that the Afghan people so richly deserve after they have sacrificed so much fighting alongside of us these past 20 years," he added. 

The two sides have been in talks over the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan in return for security guarantees from the militant group.

Washington's decision to exclude Kabul from the peace talks has also received a firestorm of rebukes from the Afghan government.

In September, the US and the Taliban appeared close to signing a deal that would have seen Washington begin withdrawing thousands of troops in return for security guarantees and potentially end almost two decades of war in Afghanistan.

It was also expected to pave the way towards direct talks between the Taliban and the government in Kabul. The Taliban have been saying they do not recognize the Afghan government, which has so far been kept out of previous US-Taliban talks.

Trump ended yearlong talks with the Taliban in September. The negotiations were aimed at ending the 18-year war in Afghanistan.

The US president said at the time that the decision to end the talks was his response to a deadly bomb blast by the militants that killed 12 people in the Afghan capital of Kabul on September 5, including an American soldier.

During a surprise visit to a US military base in Afghanistan in November, Trump said the Taliban "wants to make a deal."

The US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 and overthrew a Taliban regime in power at the time. But US forces have remained bogged down there through the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Trump.

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