U.S. President Donald Trump called the Taliban “tough” and “smart,” but said they U.S. was dealing well with the militant group.
“We’re dealing very well with the Taliban,” Trump told a news conference on Friday.
“They’re very tough, they’re very smart, they’re very sharp, but you know it’s been 19 years and even they are tired of fighting, in all fairness.”
While Trump is eager to seek a resolution to the conflict in Afghanistan due to his election campaign, his administration has called the beginning of the talks promising.
“We’re having some very good discussions with the Taliban, as you probably heard,” the president said, referring to the peace negotiations with the Taliban.
“And so we’ll be out of there, knowing that certain things have to happen – certain things have to be fulfilled. But 19 years is a long time, 8,000 miles away. Nineteen years is a long time.”
The U.S. has said they are on track to withdraw completely from Afghanistan by spring 2021, subject to the Taliban meeting certain conditions and security guarantees.
This is as recently H.R. McMaster, Trump’s former national security adviser, called the plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan “unwise.”
Meanwhile, the Afghan government’s negotiating team and the Taliban delegation are expected to hold a meeting later on Saturday to discuss remaining issues under debate by the “contact groups” of the two sides.