US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said his administration is holding constructive talks with stakeholders in Afghanistan, including with the Taliban, and that it was now time to try for peace.
Trump said in his State of the Union speech that as negotiations with the Taliban continue, the United States will be able to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan and focus on counterterrorism efforts.
Trump says that he accelerated the negotiations with the Taliban to reach a political settlement.
“We do not know whether we will achieve an agreement — but we do know that after two decades of war the hour has come to at least try for peace. And the other side would like to do the same thing. It is time,” Trump said.
“The opposing side is also very happy to be negotiating,” he added.
“Our brave troops have now been fighting in the middle east for almost 19 years. In Afghanistan and Iraq, nearly 7,000 American heroes have given their lives,” he said.
“More than 52,000 Americans have been badly wounded. We have spent more than $7 trillion in the middle east.”
“As a candidate for president, I loudly pledged a new approach. Great nations do not fight endless wars.
“When I took office, ISIS (Daesh) controlled more than 20,000 square miles in Iraq and Syria. Just two years ago. Today, we have liberated virtually all that territory from the grip of these bloodthirsty killers,” he mentioned.
He said the US is working with its allies to destroy the remnants of Daesh - it is time to give our brave warriors in Syria a warm welcome home.”
Our troops have fought with unmatched valour — and thanks to their bravery, we are now able to pursue a political solution to this long and bloody conflict, he said.