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US President Donald Trump on Friday called the Taliban tough and smart and said the United States is dealing well with the militant group in Afghanistan.

The Taliban signed a peace deal with the United States on February 29. The start of last week’s peace talks in Doha between the negotiating teams of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban are part of the agreement the militant group signed with the US. 

“We’re dealing very well with the Taliban,” Trump said at a news conference according to a White House statement. “They’re very tough, they’re very smart, they’re very sharp. But, you know, it’s been 19 years, and even they are tired of fighting, in all fairness.”

Trump also pointed to the peace negotiations with the Taliban and said, “we’re having some very good discussions with the Taliban, as you probably heard.”

He stressed that the number of US forces in Afghanistan will be less than 4,000 in near future. “And so we’ll be out of there, knowing that certain things have to happen — certain things have to be fulfilled.  But 19 years is a long time, 8,000 miles away. Nineteen years is a long time,” Trump added.

This comes as H.R. McMaster, former US national security adviser, said President Trump partnered with the Taliban ahead of this month’s peace negotiations in Doha but insisted on continued support of Washington to the Afghan government.  

He expressed the remarks in an interview about his new book on the 53rd Season Premiere of 60 Minutes and was quoted in a report by CBS News on Friday.

McMaster said withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and partnering with the Taliban has made the United States less safe.