While visiting Afghanistan for the first time, President Donald Trump announced that the United States has reopened peace talks with the Taliban, coming about three months after negotiations stalled following a terrorist attack.
Trump visited American troops at Bagram airbase and gave them a surprise Thanksgiving greeting.
“Were going to stay until such time as we have a deal or we have total victory, and they want to make a deal very badly,” the president said. “The Taliban wants to make a deal—well see if they make a deal. If they do they do, and if they dont they dont. Thats fine.”
He also reiterated his pledge to bring down the total number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan amid the 18-year-long conflict.
“Were bringing down the number of troops substantially,” Trump said.
Trump arrived in the country to serve troops Thanksgiving dinner, dishing out turkey to several-dozen of troops, according to video footage of the event. He was joined by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
“Theres nowhere Id rather spend Thanksgiving than with the toughest, fiercest warriors,” Trump told the soldiers. “Im here to say Happy Thanksgiving and thank you very much. As president of the United States, I have no higher honor than serving as commander-in-chief.”
He added: “We will continue to work tirelessly for the day when all of you can go home to your families, and that day is coming very soon.”
Reports previously said that Trump was slated to have Thanksgiving at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, with his family.
Before the meeting with soldiers, Trump held a meeting with President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, on Thursday, according to Ghanis Twitter page.