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Taliban welcome Trump tweet on withdrawing troops from Afghanistan by Christmas

A White House staff member holds the door for U.S. President Donald Trump as he exits Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after a fourth day of treatment for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to return to the White House in Washington from the hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S., October 5, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

KABUL (Reuters) - The Taliban on Thursday welcomed an announcement by President Donald Trump on pulling out U.S. troops by Christmas.

It was “a positive step towards the implementation of (the) Doha agreement,” a spokesman for the Islamist group, Mohammad Naeem, said in a statement.

Trump said on Twitter on Wednesday: “We should have the small remaining number of our BRAVE Men and Women serving in Afghanistan home by Christmas!”

The Doha agreement, signed between the U.S. and Taliban in February, drew up plans to pull out foreign forces from Afghanistan after two decades of war, in exchange for security guarantees from the insurgent group.

Writing by Gibran Peshimam; editing by John Stonestreet