Trump Says U.S. ‘Pretty Close’ to Deal to End Afghanistan War

Justin Sink and Jordan Fabian
Trump Says U.S. ‘Pretty Close’ to Deal to End Afghanistan War

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said the U.S. and Taliban are “pretty close” to signing an agreement to formally end the war in Afghanistan.

“We’re pretty close,” Trump told reporters Tuesday in New Delhi. “We’ve got two days now under our belt without violence” or with minimal violence, the president said.

U.S. and Taliban leaders intend to sign a peace deal on Feb. 29, provided that a week-long reduction in violence that started early Saturday remain in place. Trump in September pulled out of plans for Camp David peace talks with the Taliban after a U.S. soldier was killed in a suicide bombing.

Prospects for a long-term peace deal remain fragile. On Tuesday, Afghanistan’s electoral commission declared President Ashraf Ghani the winner of another five-year term, despite months of challenges and recounts that clouded the election. Ghani’s rival, opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah, has claimed victory, undermining the government’s legitimacy and possibly hindering its ability to negotiate a peace agreement with the Taliban.

The U.S. currently has around 13,000 troops in the country, and administration officials said they would be withdrawn only if the Taliban meets certain conditions.

To contact the reporters on this story: Justin Sink in Washington at jsink1@bloomberg.net;Jordan Fabian in Washington at jfabian6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, Joshua Gallu

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