Trump's Taliban News Seems to Startle the Taliban

'We are ready to talk,' the Sunni group says
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2019 10:15 AM CST
Trump's Taliban News Seems to Surprise the Taliban
President Donald Trump waves as he steps off Air Force One, accompanied by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, at the Palm Beach International Airport, Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, in West Palm Beach, Fla. Trump is returning from a trip to visit the troops in Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – President Trump's visit to Afghanistan on Thanksgiving turned out to be a surprise in more ways than one, the Washington Post reports. In big news, he told US troops that Taliban talks are on again—but the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani seemed just as surprised when they addressed the issue on Friday. The Taliban said "we are ready to talk," and a Ghani rep said "we will have to see" about resuming negotiations. Another surprise was Trump's contention that "we're saying it has to be a cease-fire," after talks ended in September with the Taliban agreeing to reduce violence but discuss a full cease-fire with Afghan leaders only after the US pullout had begun, per the New York Times. And now? "Our positions remain the same," said the Taliban. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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