Trump Announces Mike Pompeo To Finalize Taliban Peace Deal


Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will finalize a peace agreement with the Taliban, President Donald Trump announced Friday.

The announcement comes roughly a week after Pompeo announced a “reduction in violence” (RIV) agreement with the Taliban and stated a more permanent peace deal would be signed by the end of February. Pompeo will be be signing the deal with the Taliban, and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper will make a “joint declaration” with the Afghan government, Trump said.

Mohammad Nabi Omari (C-L), a Taliban member formerly held by the US at Guantanamo Bay and reportedly released in 2014 in a prisoner exchange, Taliban negotiator Abbas Stanikzai (C-R), and former Taliban intelligence deputy Mawlawi Abdul Haq Wasiq (R)  (KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Officials have emphasized that the declaration would only move forward so long as the Taliban kept to the RIV agreement made earlier in February. (RELATED: US Has Reduced Military Presence In Afghanistan By 2,000 Troops Despite No Peace Deal)

“If the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan live up to these commitments, we will have a powerful path forward to end the war in Afghanistan and bring our troops home,” Trump said Friday.

Trump has said for months that there must be a reduction of violence in Afghanistan before the U.S. will negotiate for a long-term peace agreement. The Taliban had escalated their operations since September, and the U.S. responded with increased airstrikes. (RELATED: Pompeo Defends Using Camp David To Meet With Taliban)

Trump attempted to reach a peace agreement in 2019 when he invited Afghan and Taliban residents to meet at Camp David on September 11. He cancelled the talks, however, after a Taliban attack on US soldiers, combined with backlash to the symbolism of hosting terrorists on the anniversary of 9/11.