THE US and the Afghan Taliban have resumed peace talks, President Donald Trump has revealed as he made his first visit to the war-torn country on an unannounced trip to meet American soldiers for the Thanksgiving holiday.
During the brief appearance at the sprawling Bagram Airfield, Trump served turkey to soldiers, posed for photographs and met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
President Donald Trump addresses members of the military during a surprise Thanksgiving Day visit on Thursday at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan. (AP/PTI)
After nine rounds of negotiations with the Taliban, President Trump abruptly cancelled peace talks in September after a US soldier was killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul.
The secretive visit to Afghanistan on Thursday for Thanksgiving came a week after a prisoner swap with the Taliban aimed at resuming peace negotiations to end the 18-year-long war. As part of the swap deal, the Taliban freed two Western academics who had been held hostage since 2016 - American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks - in exchange for three imprisoned senior militants. “Yes,” Trump told a small group of reporters at the Bagram Air Field when asked to confirm whether the US had restarted discussions with the Taliban after calling the peace talks “dead”. Trump said the terms of the deal would have to include a Taliban ceasefire.
“The Taliban wants to make a deal and we’re meeting with them and we’re saying it has to be a ceasefire and they didn’t want to do a ceasefire and now they do want to do a ceasefir,” he said.