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Trump expresses optimism for US peace deal with Taliban

The two sides announced a truce, which took effect last Friday, earlier this month.

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Donald Trump expressed cautious optimism about reaching a peace deal (Alex Brandon/AP)

Donald Trump expressed cautious optimism about reaching a peace deal (Alex Brandon/AP)

Donald Trump expressed cautious optimism about reaching a peace deal (Alex Brandon/AP)

Donald Trump has said he is ready to sign a peace deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan if a temporary truce holds in America’s longest war.

Speaking to reporters as he left the White House for a trip to India, the US president said: “Time to come home.”

“They want to stop. You know, they’ve been fighting a long time. They’re tough people. We’re tough people,” he said.

“But after 19 years, that’s a long time.”

We think (the Taliban) want to make a deal. We want to make a deal. I think it's going to work out. We'll seeDonald Trump

The two sides announced the truce, which took effect last Friday, earlier this month.

It set the stage for a broader deal aimed at ending 18 years of war in Afghanistan and bringing US troops home.

If the truce proves a success, it will be followed by the signing of the peace accord on Saturday, wrapping up America’s longest-running conflict and fulfilling one of Mr Trump’s chief campaign promises.

“We think they want to make a deal. We want to make a deal. I think it’s going to work out. We’ll see,” Mr Trump said.

For the Taliban, the successful completion of the truce and Afghanistan peace talks would give the militants a shot at international legitimacy, which they lacked at the time they ran the country and gave Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida associates safe haven.

US officials have noted the possibility that “spoilers” uninterested in peace talks could disrupt the truce.

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Determining who is responsible for potential attacks during the seven days will therefore be critical.

Mr Trump expressed cautious optimism on Sunday about reaching a peace deal.

“You know we have a certain period of non-violence. It’s been holding up, it’s a day-and-a-half, so we’ll see what happens,” he said.

“But people want to make a deal, and I think the Taliban wants to make a deal too, they’re tired of fighting.”

There are more than 12,000 US troops in Afghanistan.


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