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Trump: Deal with Taliban on US Troop Withdrawal Might Not Be Acceptable

Nike Ching and Ayaz Gul contributed to this report.WHITE HOUSE — “Good discussions” are under way about Afghanistan, including between the United States and the Taliban, President Donald Trump said Tuesday. But he cautioned a U.S. troop withdrawal agreement might not be realized. “I don’t know whether or not the plan is going to be acceptable to me, and maybe it’s not going to be acceptable to them,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office alongside Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. Trump made his remarks shortly after the State Department announced that its special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalizad, is traveling to Doha on Tuesday to resume talks with the Taliban on a peace agreement aimed at ending the 18-year conflict in the country.FILE – A U.S. flag hangs off of a housing unit inside of Bagram Air Field in the Parwan province of Afghanistan, Jan. 2, 2015.The two sides are said to be working out the details.”The Taliban would like to stop fighting us,” said Trump on Tuesday. “They’ve lost a lot.” The U.S. president said Moscow’s failure to win a war in the Asian country led to “the Soviet Union becoming Russia because of Afghanistan.” U.S. monitoringAsked by a reporter if the Taliban can be trusted, Trump replied, “Nobody can be trusted,” describing Afghanistan as “the Harvard University of terrorism.” Trump said the United States will always have intelligence assets and personnel on the ground to prevent Afghanistan from returning to its pre-9/11 status when the country was run by the Taliban. Trump again reasserted he could quickly vanquish terrorist elements in the country with a campaign of intensive but non-nuclear bombing. But “I’m not looking to kill 10 million Afghans,” he said.

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