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U.S. keeps upbeat over potential peace deal with Afghan Taliban
Last Updated: 2020-02-14 12:31 | Xinhua
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The Trump administration on Friday expressed optimism about a possible peace deal with the Taliban that could lead to gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops after over-18-year war in Afghanistan.

U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly said in a radio interview on Thursday that the two sides are "very close" to reach an agreement in the coming weeks.

"I think there's a good chance that we'll have a deal and we'll see," said Trump.

"That doesn't mean we have one, but we'll know over the next two weeks," he added.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday that "real progress" has been made over the last few days with the Taliban.

"The president gave us the authority to continue to have the conversations," Pompeo told reporters on his plane to Germany. "We hope we can get to a place where we can get a significant reduction in violence."

"It's complicated. We're not there yet," the top U.S. diplomat also cautioned.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced on Thursday in Brussels that the United States and the Taliban have negotiated a proposal for a seven-day reduction in violence in Afghanistan.

Without giving any clear timetable, Esper only said "progress has been on this front, and we have more to report on that soon."

It has been reported that the United States and the Taliban are mulling about a one-week slowdown in fighting before any peace agreement is signed.

America and the Taliban were on verge of a similar deal in September, but Trump suddenly called off the talks, citing a Taliban attack which led to the death of an American citizen.

There are currently about 13,000 U.S. forces in Afghanistan. A U.S.-led coalition invaded the country following the 9/11 attacks on the United States in 2001.

The longest war in American history has reportedly killed over 2,400 U.S. troops and tens of thousands of Afghans.

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U.S. keeps upbeat over potential peace deal with Afghan Taliban
Source:Xinhua | 2020-02-14 12:31
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