WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he's dispatching the nation's top diplomat to witness the signing of an agreement with the Afghan Taliban aimed at beginning a drawdown of thousands of U.S. troops and ending America's 18-year involvement in the war.

Trump said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is to be present for the signing of the agreement with the Taliban militants, who harbored al-Qaida before the 9/11 attacks and are responsible for the deaths of thousands of American servicemen and women.

He says Defense Secretary Mark Esper also will issue a joint declaration with the government of Afghanistan.

The signing is expected to occur Saturday in Doha, Qatar.

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