Trump looks for full pullout from Afghanistan but hasn't set target date

US President Donald Trump departs the White House for Baltimore, Maryland on May 25, 2020 in Washington, DC. (AP)

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday renewed his desire for a full military withdrawal from Afghanistan but added that he had not set a target date, amid speculation he might make ending America's longest war part of his re-election campaign.

“We're there 19 years and, yeah, I think that's enough... We can always go back if we want to,” Trump told a White House news conference.

Newly freed Taliban prisoners are seen at Bagram prison, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, on April 11, 2020. (Reuters)

Newly freed Taliban prisoners are seen at Bagram prison, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, on April 11, 2020. (Reuters)

Asked if the Thanksgiving holiday on November 26 was a target, Trump said: “No. I have no target. But as soon as (is) reasonable. Over a period of time but as soon as reasonable.”

Afghan authorities plan to release 900 more Taliban prisoners on Tuesday, as calls grew for the militants to extend a ceasefire on its third and final day.

The pause in fighting – which came into effect on Sunday to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr – was, for the most part, holding across the country, officials said.

Some 100 Taliban prisoners were released from a military prison in Afghanistan on Monday as part of the government’s response to a surprise ceasefire offered by the militants to mark the Eid al-Fitr festival.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 27 May 2020 KSA 01:14 - GMT 22:14
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