President Donald Trump arrived in Afghanistan Thursday for a surprise Thanksgiving visit to U.S. troops and announced peace talks with the Taliban have restarted.
It was his first trip to the country and his second visit to U.S. troops overseas in a war zone following a trip to Iraq at the end of last year, CNN reported.
There are about 12,000 U.S. troops currently serving in Afghanistan in a conflict triggered by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that has claimed more than 2,300 American lives and cost billions in taxpayer dollars.
The visit came amid unprecedented tensions between the President and senior military officers following the ouster of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer after Trump intervened in the cases of three service members facing war crimes allegations against the advice of Pentagon leadership.
Speaking at Bagram Air Base, Trump told troops that "the Taliban wants to make a deal. We'll see if they want to make a deal. It's got to be a real deal, but we'll see. But they want to make a deal."
Trump also held a bilateral meeting with the President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani.
Following the meeting, Ghani tweeted that "both sides underscored that if the Taliban are sincere in their commitment to reaching a peace deal, they must accept a ceasefire. We also emphasized that for any peace to last, terrorist safe havens outside Afghanistan must be dismantled."
Before leaving, Trump served Thanksgiving meals to some members of the military stationed at the base.