U.S. President Donald Trump, who had just arrived at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida two days prior, made a surprise trip to Afghanistan, to visit U.S. troops on Thanksgiving Day.
In his remarks to them - Trump said he believed Taliban insurgents would agree to a ceasefire in America's longest war.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: ""The Taliban wants to make a deal.
It's got to be a real deal, but we'll see.
We'll see if they want to make a deal.
It's got to be a real deal.
They want to make a deal.
They want to make a deal because you're doing a great job.
That's the only reason they want to make a deal." The President told the troops he made the long journey to express his personal gratitude for their service.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "We flew 8,331 miles to be here tonight.
So I just want to say that we thank God for your health and all of the things that you've done.
You are very special people, and you don't even know how much the people of our country love and respect you." Trump also touted a military raid last month in Syria that left Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi dead.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "The American warriors hunted him down and they executed a masterful raid, and they punched his ticket to hell." al-Baghdadi, who declared himself the leader of Islamic State, died last month by detonating a suicide vest after he fled into a dead-end tunnel as elite U.S. special forces closed in.
Trump, who was greeted by U.S. Army General Mark Milley upon his arrival, also met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on the sidelines of his surprise visit.
It marks Trump's first trip to Afghanistan since becoming president and came a week after a prisoner swap between Washington and Kabul that has raised hopes for a revival of peace talks.