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Trump says Pompeo will witness signing of deal with Taliban


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WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Donald Trump said Friday that he's dispatching Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the signing of an agreement with the Afghan Taliban aimed at beginning a draw down of thousands of U.S. troops and ending America's 18-year involvement in the war.

Trump said Pompeo would soon, at the president's direction, witness the signing of an agreement with the Taliban, an event that will see America's top diplomat stand with leaders of militants, who harbored al-Qaida before the 9/11 attacks and are responsible for the deaths of thousands of American servicemen and women. He said Defense Secretary Mark Esper also will issue a joint declaration with the government of Afghanistan.

Trump did not say where the deal would be signed, but it's been previously reported that it would occur Saturday in Doha, Qatar.

The signing comes after a week in which both U.S.-led forces and the Taliban committed to a reduction in violence. Under the plan being signed, the U.S. is to reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan to 8,600 from about 13,000.


Trump brings peace, leaving Democrats without another issue to campaign on.

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US signs historic peace deal with Taliban, Pompeo strikes cautious tone

The United States signed a historic peace treaty with Taliban militants on Saturday, aimed at ending the 18-year war in Afghanistan that began after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke cautiously in front of Taliban leaders in Doha, Qatar, calling the agreement a “true test” of their commitment to peace.

“We will closely watch the Taliban’s compliance with their commitments and calibrate the pace of our withdrawal to their actions. This is how we will ensure that Afghanistan never again serves as a base for international terrorists,” he said.

Pompeo’s arrival in Doha, Qatar on Saturday followed reports that, just days earlier, he had informed a conference of U.S. ambassadors at the State Department that he was only attending the signing because President Trump has insisted on his participation, two people present told The Associated Press.:snip:

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