USA: US President Donald Trump on Saturday said he called off peace negotiations with the Taliban after the group claimed responsibility for the Kabul car bombing which killed 12 people, including an American soldier.
In a series of tweets, Trump said he also cancelled a “secret meeting” with the Taliban representatives and a separate meeting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Camp David on Sunday.
“Unbeknownst to almost everyone, the major Taliban leaders and, separately, the President of Afghanistan, were going to secretly meet with me at Camp David on Sunday. They were coming to the United States tonight,” he said.
“Unfortunately, in order to build false leverage, they admitted to an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great-great soldiers, and 11 other people. I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations,” Trump said in another tweet.
Attacking the Taliban, the US President said, “What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position? They didn’t, they only made it worse! If they cannot agree to a ceasefire during these very important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don’t have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway. How many more decades are they willing to fight?”
The US has been negotiating with the Taliban in the last few months at Doha despite the group’s reluctance to hold direct talks with the Afghan government, which it views as a US puppet.
Earlier this week, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said that the Trump administration had reached a deal ‘in principle’ to withdraw over 5,000 troops from Afghanistan in exchange for guarantees by the Taliban to not allow the war-torn country to be used as a base for attacks abroad.