Trump meets top advisers to discuss progress of Afghan peace deal

| | Washington
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Trump meets top advisers to discuss progress of Afghan peace deal

Saturday, 17 August 2019 | PTI | Washington

Trump meets top advisers to discuss progress of Afghan peace deal

US President Donald Trump chaired a meeting on the Afghanistan peace deal with his national security team that, the White House said, went "very well" and negotiations are proceeding.

The talks, attended by Vice-President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton among others, were held at Trump's golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Friday.

Soon after the meeting, the president tweeted: "Many on the opposite side of this 19-year war, and us, are looking to make a deal - if possible!"

According to the White House, discussions centred around ongoing negotiations and eventual peace and reconciliation agreement with the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan. The meeting went very well and negotiations are proceeding, it said.

After briefing the president on the progress of the negotiations in the war-torn country, Pompeo issued a statement, saying, "Led by the president, we are working diligently on the path forward in Afghanistan."

"In continued close cooperation with the government of Afghanistan, we remain committed to achieving a comprehensive peace agreement, including a reduction in violence and a ceasefire, ensuring that Afghan soil is never again used to threaten the United States or her allies, and bringing Afghans together to work towards peace," the secretary of state said.

The meeting was also attended by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford and CIA Director Gina Haspel.

Trump chaired the meeting after Taliban and US negotiators wrapped up their latest round of talks for a deal on Monday that would see America shrink its troop presence in Afghanistan.

Details of a possible deal with the Taliban is yet to be made public, but administration officials have said that the president wants the troops back from Afghanistan as soon as possible.

Early in the day, Trump also had a telephonic conversation with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on the Afghanistan peace talks and the India-Pak relationship.

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