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 John TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax 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 PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoForeign Relations Democrat calls on Iran to release other American prisoners Documentary groups challenge Trump administration's vetting of immigrants' social media Iran releases American graduate student in prisoner swap 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 BoltonThe shifting impeachment positions of Jonathan Turley The key impeachment hearings are before an appeals court, not the House Judiciary panel Beyond the myth of Sunni-Shia wars in the Middle East MORE, Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark Esper FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant US defense secretary can't label US base attack 'terrorism' at this point Sunday talk shows: Lawmakers gear up ahead of Monday's House Judiciary hearing MORE, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, CIA Director Gina HaspelGina Cheri HaspelEnhanced interrogation — better known as torture — took America to the dark side Trump administration, military officials at odds over CIA's Afghanistan role: report Trump meets with national security team on Afghanistan peace plan 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 GrahamGOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties GOP senator blocks Armenian genocide resolution Hannity slams Stern for Clinton interview: 'Not the guy I grew up listening to' 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.