Cheney slams Taliban deal, saying it could threaten US security
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Cheney slams Taliban deal, saying it could threaten US security

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Liz Cheney, John Barrasso and Donald Trump

President Donald Trump gives his pen to Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., third from left, after signing one of various bills in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on March 27, 2107 in Washington. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., stands between Cheney and Trump.

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney says a peace deal signed Saturday between the U.S. and the Taliban could threaten U.S. security.

In a statement, Wyoming’s lone member of the House of Representatives compared the deal, aimed at ending the longest war in U.S. history, to a nuclear agreement reached between the Obama administration and Iran.

“Today’s agreement with the Taliban includes concessions that could threaten the security of the United States,” Cheney said in a statement. “Releasing thousands of Taliban fighters, lifting sanctions on international terrorists, and agreeing to withdraw all U.S. forces in exchange for promises from the Taliban, with no disclosed mechanism to verify Taliban compliance, would be reminiscent of the worst aspects of the Obama Iran nuclear deal.”

Cheney called for more transparency surrounding the agreement, which was signed by chief negotiators from both the U.S. and the Taliban and aims to bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan after more than 18 years.

“If verification mechanisms exist, the Secretary of State should immediately make them, and any other side deals or annexes, public,” Cheney said. “The American people deserve to know precisely what deals have been cut in our name with the terrorists who harbored those who attacked us on 9/11.”

The comment served as a rare rebuke by Cheney of a Trump administration policy. The deal could see the withdrawal of all American and allied forces in the next 14 months and allow President Donald Trump to keep a key campaign pledge to extract the U.S. from “endless wars.”

At the White House, Trump told reporters the U.S. deserves credit for having helped Afghanistan take a step toward peace. He spoke cautiously of the deal’s prospects for success and cautioned the Taliban against violating their commitments.

“We think we’ll be successful in the end,” Trump said, referring to all-Afghan peace talks and a final U.S. exit.

Cheney has been mostly supportive of Trump and served as a key defender during impeachment. But she has criticized him on foreign policy before, including his dismissive comments toward NATO and on his decision to withdraw from Syria.

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