Peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban start on Saturday. US President Trump praised the progress in the country – and announced that the presence of US troops would be significantly reduced.
Before the peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, US President Donald Trump announced a significant reduction in the number of troops in Afghanistan. Trump said in the White House on Thursday (local time) that the number of US soldiers “would be reduced to 4,000 in a very short time.” Recently, about 8,600 US soldiers were in Afghanistan. Trump said no US soldiers have died in the country since early February. “Great progress is being made in Afghanistan.” Trump announced that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would travel to Doha in the Gulf emirate of Qatar for the peace talks, set to begin on Saturday.
Pompeo said the talks were “a historic opportunity for Afghanistan to end four decades of war and bloodshed.” He recalled the promise of the Afghan government and the Taliban that terrorists from Afghan territory should never again threaten the US or its allies. The attacks of September 11, 2001 – Friday’s nineteenth anniversary – sparked the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.
Troops must also be reduced in Iraq
Trump praised his administration for the peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban. “The negotiations are the result of my government’s courageous diplomatic efforts over the past months and years,” he said. “The United States will play an important role in bringing the parties together and ending the decades-long war.”
Trump also announced further troop reductions in Iraq. The number of US soldiers there should also be reduced to 2,000 in “a very short time”, the president said Thursday. The Pentagon announced on Wednesday that the US would reduce its force in Iraq from 5,200 to about 3,000 soldiers. The United States Department of Defense announced that this was made possible by the advancement of the Iraqi military.