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Trump meets with national security team on Afghanistan peace plan

Trump meets with national security team on Afghanistan peace plan
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President TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Carolina Senate passes trio of election measures 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday Border state governors rebel against Biden's immigration chaos MORE met Friday with his national security team to discuss a pending peace agreement with the Taliban.

In a statement after the meeting, Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoNikki Haley warns Republicans on China: 'If they take Taiwan, it's all over' The Hill's Morning Report - Dems to go-it-alone on infrastructure as bipartisan plan falters RNC's McDaniel launches podcast highlighting Republicans outside of Washington MORE said the meeting at Trump's resort in Bedminster, N.J., focused on "the status of negotiations for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan."

"Led by the president, we are working diligently on the path forward in Afghanistan," Pompeo said. "In continued close cooperation with the government of Afghanistan, we remain committed to achieving a comprehensive peace agreement, including a reduction in violence and a ceasefire, ensuring that Afghan soil is never again used to threaten the United States or her allies and bringing Afghans together to work towards peace."

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A senior administration official told reporters before the meeting that Trump has “been pretty clear” about his desire to withdraw from Afghanistan.

After the meeting, Trump said he was looking to make a deal "if possible."

"Just completed a very good meeting on Afghanistan," Trump tweeted. "Many on the opposite side of this 19 year war, and us, are looking to make a deal - if possible!"

Attendees also included Vice President Pence, national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonUS drops lawsuit, closes probe over Bolton book John Bolton: Biden-Putin meeting 'premature' Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process MORE, Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: Top admiral shoots back at criticism of 'woke' military | Military guns go missing | New White House strategy to battle domestic extremism Top admiral shoots back at criticism of 'woke' military: 'We are not weak' Cotton, Pentagon chief tangle over diversity training in military MORE, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, CIA Director Gina HaspelGina Cheri HaspelCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Biden announces veteran diplomat William Burns as nominee for CIA director Meet Biden's pick to lead the US intelligence community MORE and special envoy for Afghan peace talks Zalmay Khalilzad, Pompeo said.

Khalilzad has been engaging in talks with the Taliban for months on a deal to end America’s longest war that would see a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in exchange for Taliban assurances that it will not let terrorist groups use the country to launch attacks against the United States.

Finalization of a deal has been stymied by the Taliban’s refusal of inter-Afghan talks that the United States has been pushing for.

The eighth round of talks took place in Qatar earlier this month and ended without an announcement of a deal. Khalilzad called the talks “productive” and said he would “consult on next steps” back in Washington.

The United States has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan on a dual mission of training, advising and assisting Afghan forces in their fight against the Taliban, and conducting counterterrorism missions against groups such as al Qaeda and ISIS.

Top Republican lawmakers have warned Trump against a full withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“To trust the Taliban to control Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other radical Islamist groups present in Afghanistan – as a replacement for a US counter-terrorism force – would be a bigger mistake than Obama’s Iranian nuclear deal,” Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOn The Money: Yellen, Powell brush off inflation fears | Fed keeps rates steady, upgrades growth projections Democrats shift tone on unemployment benefits Bipartisan infrastructure group grows to 20 senators MORE (R-S.C.) tweeted Friday.

“Mr. President, learn from President Obama’s mistakes,” Graham added in another tweet. “A bad agreement puts the radical Islamist movement all over the world on steroids. Be smart, take your time, and listen to your national security team.”

Updated at 7:17 p.m.