Tue, 14 Jul 2020

Trump: Pompeo to Witness Signing of Deal with Taliban

Voice of America
29 Feb 2020, 08:35 GMT+10

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday announced America's top diplomat would attend the signing of a peace deal with the Taliban.

"Soon, at my direction, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will witness the signing of an agreement with the representatives of the Taliban," Trump said in a statement.

The U.S.-Taliban agreement is aimed at drawing down the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to 8,600 from 13,000.

Trump did not say where the deal would be signed, but it's been previously reported that it would occur Saturday in Doha, Qatar.

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Defense Secretary Mark Esper will also issue a joint declaration with the government of Afghanistan, according to Trump's Friday statement.

Trump called on the Taliban and the Afghan government to "seize this opportunity for peace," and if they live up to the commitments, "we will have a powerful path forward to end the war in Afghanistan and bring our troops home."

The war in Afghanistan, which started nearly 19 years ago, has cost Washington almost $1 trillion and the lives of about 2,400 military personnel.

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