US President Donald Trump has said that members of his administration are not trying to push him into the US conflicts in Afghanistan and the Middle East but he added that “some good things are happening in Afghanistan”, referring to a reduction in the American forces numbers and the defeat of Daesh, among other matters.
The US is in talks with the Afghan government, the Taliban and the international community to find a political solution to the conflict in Afghanistan which Trump says has continued for 19 years.
“As you know in Afghanistan, when I got there, it was 16,000 people. It’s now 9,000 people. And some good things are happening there frankly,” Trump said in an interview with TIME, published on June 21.
On June 18, a Taliban spokesman said that the US has accepted to withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan. However, the remark was rejected by the US officials in Afghanistan as well as by the US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who said the US is seeking a “comprehensive peace agreement” not a “withdrawal agreement”.
However, Trump mentioned in the interview with TIME that the US is doing fine in terms of Afghanistan.
“We’re down to half — we’ll soon be down to about 8,000 soldiers,” Trump said.
In a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House on Thursday Trump said that he wants to get out of America’s “endless wars”.
“I want to get out of these endless wars. I campaigned on that I want to get out. We’ve been in Afghanistan for 19 years, as you know, we’ve reduced very substantially in Afghanistan,” he said.
The US chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad has held six rounds of talks with the Taliban, discussing on four key issues: counterterrorism efforts, troop withdrawal, a ceasefire and intra-Afghan talks.
Khalilzad this week reiterated that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”.