The US President Donald Trump on Sunday told Reuters that the Taliban want to make a deal, and “we want to make a deal.”
“Look, the Taliban has been fighting for decades. We’ve been over there 19 years. We’re like a law enforcement force. We think they want to make a deal; we want to make a deal. I think it’s going to work out. We’ll see,” Trump said.
“We’re, right now, in a period that's been holding up. You know, we have a certain period of nonviolence. It’s been holding up. It’s a day and a half. So we’ll see what happens,” he said, adding: “But people want to make a deal, and I think the Taliban wants to make a deal too.”
In response to a reporter's question about whether Trump would sign deal:
“Yeah. Yeah. Assuming it works out over the next less than a week, I would put my name on it. Sure. It's time to come home. And they want to stop. You know, they’ve been fighting a long time. They’re tough people, we’re tough people. But after 19 years, that’s a long time,” Trump said.
In the meantime, Former US Vice President Joe Biden told CBS: “I think we should only have troops there to make sure that it's impossible for the Taliban--excuse me- for ISIS (Daesh) or al-Qaeda to reestablish a foothold there.”
“That requires a much smaller footprint. But as I understand it, we're not drawing down to a level that was even as low as it was when we left Afghanistan,” said Biden.
Biden defined a smaller footprint as: "several thousand people to make sure that we have a place from which we can operate, if in fact, you find that there's a re-amassing of Taliban capacity, excuse me, of al-Qaeda and or ISIS capacity to strike the United States like happened in 9/11.
In related news, Mutlaq Bin Majed Al-Qahtani, Special Envoy of the Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar, who visited Kabul on Sunday, said that the US-Taliban deal will be signed in Doha and that some countries and the United Nations have been invited to this event.
He said joint efforts by Afghans for peace is the key to success in the process.
Qatar has hosted the US-Taliban talks over the past 18 months, and it hosts a Taliban political office in Doha.
The Qatari envoy met with President Ghani and a number of political figures in Kabul.
The intra-Afghan talks will begin after the signing of the US-Taliban deal, which, according to the US Department of State, will happen on February 29.