Trump says U.S.-Taliban talks resumed amid Afghanistan visit

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday paid an unannounced visit to Afghanistan, where he confirmed that the United States is holding talks with Afghan Taliban, according to the White House.

“The Taliban wants to make a deal. And we’re meeting with them,” Trump said after his bilateral meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at U.S. Bagram airbase close to Afghan capital Kabul.

“We’ve had very good success in talks with the Taliban,” Trump added.

Trump also noted that he seeks to reduce the number of U.S. troops in the central Asian country to 8,600, or even to a much lower level because of “new weaponry and technology.”

The United States reportedly maintains some 12,000 troops in Afghanistan.

This unannounced visit was Trump’s first trip to Afghanistan, where Taliban militants and the Afghan government forces have intensified operations in the war-torn country recently.

In September, Trump cancelled secret meetings with the Taliban leaders and Afghan president after a car bomb in Kabul killed an American soldier and 11 others.

Nearly 2,300 U.S. servicemen have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001.