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Trump says Afghan peace talks are ‘going well’

KABUL: Days after peace negotiators of the Taliban and the United States touted progress in Qatar talks, US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that talks in Afghanistan ‘are going well’.

“Afghanistan talks are proceeding well,” Trump wrote on Twitter. He did not address any possible peace accord with the Taliban or the presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

On Monday, U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad told the New York Times that the United States and the insurgent group had sketched the outlines of an eventual peace deal. Analysts, however, said there was no sign that the Taliban had agreed to U.S. demands.

A U.S. State Department spokesman said this week the talks had been “positive” but that no agreement had been reached.

The Trump administration has moved towards withdrawals of U.S. forces after years of overseas deployments. A U.S. official said last month that Trump planned to withdraw more than 5,000 of the 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

But Trump’s fellow Republican U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday offered legislation urging the United States to keep troops in Afghanistan as well as Syria, although it was uncertain whether it would become law.

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