On August 03, in a televised broadcast on HBO of his interview with a news website Axios, US President Donald Trump indicated that the number of US troops in Afghanistan could come below to 4,000 very soon.
During the interview, Trump stated that the US was in the process of curtailing the troops’ strength to 8,000 which might further be reduced to 4,000.
Though he did not specify the exact time frame for the withdrawal, it is believed that process of reduction in US troops’ strength in Afghanistan could be accelerated before the US goes into elections for choosing its President in November.
Earlier, reports have suggested that the US might keep a minimum of 4000-5000 troops in Afghanistan to continue its counter-terrorism activities.
The reduction in US troops’ number has also been a part of the US-Taliban peace deal. Trump has vowed in the past, to pull out the American soldiers from Afghanistan leaving behind a minimum number of US troops.
Under the peace deal, the Afghan government had released 4,600 Taliban prisoners till now and the Taliban group had released 1000 detainees.
The peace process has already suffered delays on several accounts since the signing of the US-Taliban peace agreement on February 29.
Currently, the Afghan government is holding back 400 Taliban prisoners on charges of serious moral crimes.
The traditional elders meeting (Loya Jirga) that kicked-off on Friday has decided for the release off the remaining 400 Taliban detainees.
Abdullah, the chair of Loya Jirga said on Saturday that the Intra-Afghan talks may start very soon after the release of the Taliban detainees is completed.
According to Abdullah, the first round of the intra-Afghan negotiations will be held in Doha.