Kabul: The US President Donald Trump paid a surprise visit to Afghanistan. During the visit, he made an important announcement regarding the US peace talks. ‘The US is willing to hold talks with the Taliban only if the Taliban agrees upon a ceasefire in Afghanistan first. The Taliban is not going to receive such an opportunity again,’ Trump said as he issued a stern warning.
It was the first time that the US President met Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on his visit at the Bagram military base in Afghanistan. President Ghani presented his government’s position on the matter before the US President during the meeting. On the other hand, Trump said that they were in the process to get the Taliban to engage in talks. Later, during a dialogue with the US soldiers at the military base, he asserted on taking a hard stand against the Taliban.
‘We are working on bringing down the number of troops deployed in Afghanistan to 8600 or fewer. The Taliban wants to discuss the US deployment in Afghanistan, although they need to agree upon a ceasefire first,’ President Trump demanded. Also, he warned the Taliban, suggesting that ‘If the Taliban were ready for a ceasefire, we would maintain it. However, if they are unwilling for it, we will not present the opportunity to them again.’
Previously, the US had started negotiations with the Taliban. Nevertheless, the Taliban continued with the terror attacks as the talks progressed and targeted the Afghani citizens, military and US troops. The US had then condemned the Taliban attacks and discontinued discussions with them. Considering the events, the US has reminded the Taliban of the ceasefire, a precondition for the negotiations.
A few days ago, a senior Taliban commander Mullah Baradar went on a visit to Iran and met the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Reports of the meeting reveal that they concurred on removing the US presence from Afghanistan. Given the recent developments, President Trump appears to have clearly cautioned the Taliban on the consequences.