WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he talked with a Taliban leader, days after the United States and the Taliban signed an agreement that calls for the full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan after more than 18 years and provides assurances that the country will not be used to launch attacks on the soil of the United States and or its allies.
“I spoke to the leader of the Taliban today,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn. “We had a good conversation. We’ve agreed there’s no violence. We don’t want violence. We’ll see what happens… We had actually a very good talk with the leader of the Taliban.”
A short time earlier, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid tweeted: “The President of the United States Trump held a phone conversation” with Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
No other details were disclosed.
Acknowledging a military stalemate after nearly two decades of conflict, the United States on Saturday signed a peace agreement with the Taliban.
The deal, signed by chief negotiators from the two sides and witnessed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, could see the withdrawal of all American and allied forces within 14 months and allow Trump to keep a key campaign pledge to extract the U.S. from “endless wars.” But it could also easily unravel, particularly if the Taliban and other factions of Afghan society fail to have successful talks plotting a political way forward for the country.