President Donald Trump is back in Florida on an early Friday morning flight, after a surprise Thanksgiving visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan—marking the president’s first trip to Afghanistan and second to a combat zone.
The president, in a bright red “Keep America Great” cap, arrived at the Palm Beach International Airport before 7 a.m. before heading back to his Mar-a-Lago resort.
Boarding a military aircraft at an unidentified airport, President Trump departed the United States discreetly on Wednesday evening, where he transferred to another Air Force One 474 before boarding the flight en route to the north Kabul-located Bagram Airfield.
Following the president’s Thanksgiving trip to Kabul, Taliban leaders showed interest resuming negotiations with the Trump administration.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that the Islamist insurgent group was “ready to restart the talks” that ended after Trump called them off earlier this fall, according to Reuters.
“Our stance is still the same. If peace talks start, it will be resumed from the stage where it had stopped,” the Taliban spokesman told Reuters.
While in Afghanistan President Trump said he will continue peace talks with the Taliban, announcing that he believes the time has come for the war to end.
The president’s statement comes a week after a prisoner swap between the Taliban and the United States, where an American and an Australian individual were released to the U.S. forces in exchange for three Taliban prisoners, whom the Afghan government has let go, The Hill reports.
“The Taliban wants to make a deal—we’ll see if they make a deal. If they do they do, and if they don’t they don’t. That’s fine,” President Trump said during his meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
“The Taliban wants to make a deal and we’re meeting with them and we’re saying it has to be a cease-fire and they didn’t want to do a cease-fire and now they do want to do a cease-fire,” he added. “I believe it’ll probably work out that way.”
The Trump administration for months has tried to negotiate with the Taliban as steps to put a stop to the 18-year war in Afghanistan—the longest war America has ever had.
The presidential visit to Afghanistan carries on the White House tradition of visiting war zones during holiday seasons.