Taliban, coronavirus vaccine and US-Canada row: What Trump said in his latest briefing

WION Web Team Washington, DC, United States of America Sep 19, 2020, 10.50 AM(IST)

Donald Trump Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Trump, who is seeking re-election on November 3, is eager to claim an end to America's longest conflict, and his administration has voiced its intention to use aid as leverage to push for a peace deal in Afghanistan.

US President Donald Trump complimented the Taliban for being tough and smart, and said the United States was dealing well with the Afghan militant group.

In a news conference on Friday, Trump also said he expects to have available enough doses of a coronavirus vaccine for every American by April.

CORONAVIRUS VACCINE

Trump said distribution of a vaccine will begin within 24 hours of it being approved by federal health regulators.

"In a short time we'll have a safe and effective vaccine and we'll defeat the virus," Trump said.

He has previously said a vaccine could be approved in October, an ambitious timeline that some experts have said is unlikely to be met.

'SMART' TALIBAN

Regarding the Taliban, who began peace negotiations with the Afghan government this week to end two decades of war, Trump said, "We're dealing very well with the Taliban. 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, who is seeking re-election on November 3, is eager to claim an end to America's longest conflict, and his administration has voiced its intention to use aid as leverage to push for a peace deal in Afghanistan.

The United States is set to withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan by May 2021, subject to the Taliban meeting certain security guarantees.

Taliban and Afghan government peace negotiators held their first formal meeting on Tuesday in Doha, after an opening ceremony on Saturday which was attended by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

US-CANADA ROW

Trump said on Friday he thought the US-Canada border would open before the end of the year.

The restrictions on non-essential travel at land borders between the two countries were first imposed in March and do not cover trade or travel by air. They have been extended several times, including on Friday to October 21, as the United States has struggled to contain its coronavirus outbreak.
 

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