Trump makes unannounced see to US soldiers in Afghanistan

Trump makes unannounced see to US soldiers in Afghanistan

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Media caption Donald Trump informed US soldiers it was the first Thanksgiving that he didn’t get any Turkey

President Donald Trump made an unannounced see to United States troops in Afghanistan – his very first time in the country – for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Throughout the short appearance at Bagram Airfield, Mr Trump served turkey to soldiers, posed for pictures, and met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

In a speech to soldiers, Mr Trump stated the US was in talks with the Taliban, which he stated “wishes to negotiate”.

Mr Trump likewise said the US was “significantly” minimizing troop numbers.

Some 13,000 United States soldiers remain in Afghanistan 18 years after the US intervention to oust the Taliban following the 11 September 2001 attacks.

The check out follows a prisoner swap with the Taliban aimed at resuming peace settlements.

Earlier this month, the Taliban freed 2 Western academics who had actually been imprisoned considering that 2016 – American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks – in exchange for three imprisoned senior militants.

” We’re meeting them [Taliban] and we state it needs to be a ceasefire and they didn’t want to do a ceasefire and now they want to do a ceasefire,” Mr Trump stated at the base near the capital, Kabul. “I think it will most likely exercise that method.”

It is unclear how substantive the talks have actually been.

Afghan officials have long required a ceasefire however the Taliban, who now manage more area than at any point given that they were ousted in 2001, have declined to hold direct talks with the government until an US deal is agreed.

Taliban leaders confirmed that meetings with senior US officials were being held in Doha considering that last weekend but that formal talks had actually not yet resumed, Reuters news agency reported.

Mr Trump likewise declared his plan to cut troop levels to about 8,600 but did not say the number of workers would leave or when. “We’re going to remain until such time as we have a deal or we have overall victory, and they wish to negotiate really severely.”

What else happened at the see?

Mr Trump reached 20: 30 regional time (16: 00 GMT) on Thursday and left before midnight on a trip that was shrouded in secrecy for security reasons. The White Home validated that there was an arrangement for the president’s Twitter account to publish messages during the journey to prevent suspicions occurring about his long silence.

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AFP

Image caption

Donald Trump stated the Taliban “wants to negotiate”.

Upon his arrival, Mr Trump was welcomed by United States Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen Mark Milley who, on Wednesday, stated the chances of a successful result from peace talks were greater than previously and could occur in the “near term”.

The president, who travelled with a number of assistants, then served turkey to soldiers, sat down to eat Thanksgiving supper with them prior to positioning for images.

There was no instant reaction from the Taliban, and numerous have formerly raised questions over the group’s willingness to engage in major settlements or whether it can be relied on.

A foreign see with domestic aims

By Chris Buckler, The United States and Canada correspondent

Donald Trump takes pride in the military might of his country but this trip overseas need to not be translated as a sign of his interest in the region. The commander-in-chief has actually consistently stated that he wants his soldiers home and not slowed down in apparently limitless conflicts like the one in Afghanistan, which holds the unenviable title of America’s longest war.

Mr Trump’s concerns lie inside the borders of the US – borders that he is eager to strengthen. But foreign policy is essential to members of his Republican politician Celebration, as the “America First” president found out when he was heavily criticised for his apparent acquiescence to Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria.

Ever Since he has actually had the ability to declare a share of the success in the US unique forces operation that led to the death of the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. And now there is the teasing possibility of a peace deal with the Taliban.

Mr Trump talked up the potential of an agreement – but it is unclear just how much has altered considering that he pronounced negotiations “dead” in September.

While these are diplomacy concerns it is worth recognising that for every president gos to like this tend to play into domestic politics – last Christmas, President Trump flew to Iraq. Showing uniformity with soldiers abroad is necessary for support back home, particularly at vacation time when those soldiers are countless miles far from their households.

Talks with the Taliban collapsed in September soon after President Trump welcomed senior Taliban leaders and President Ghani to fulfill at the United States governmental retreat of Camp David, near Washington DC.

But a Taliban attack in the Afghan capital two days earlier, which eliminated an US soldier and 11 others, triggered Mr Trump to pull out, stating the group “most likely don’t have the power to negotiate” if they were not able to concur to a ceasefire throughout talks.

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