The US President Donald Trump said Monday he would leave an intelligence presence in Afghanistan, though he has long hoped for a full withdrawal of US military presence from the country.
Trump said he'd like to "get out" of Afghanistan but added that it is a country with "a lot of good hiding places" and needs to be watched.
His comments follow reports of the Taliban pushing to rewrite a draft agreement under which the US would withdraw troops from Afghanistan in exchange for pledges that Taliban leaders would help combat terrorism.
“We are working to rewrite the draft agreement and incorporate in it clauses that have been agreed upon,” Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told The Associated Press during peace talks in Qatar with US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.
Trump has pushed for taking troops out of Afghanistan since well before his presidency, tweeting in 2013, “Let’s get out of Afghanistan. Our troops are being killed by the Afghanis we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA.”
In December, the Trump administration planned to withdraw forces from the country, but the proposal was met with resistance from Republican lawmakers.