United States President Donald Trump said on Saturday that he had called off secret talks with the Taliban terrorist group. In a series of tweets, Trump said that the Taliban jeopardised the talks when they admitted responsibility for a bombing in Kabul that killed 12 people, including an American soldier.
“Unbeknownst to almost everyone, the major Taliban leaders and, separately, the President of Afghanistan [Ashraf Ghani], were going to secretly meet with me at Camp David on Sunday,” Trump tweeted. “They were coming to the United States tonight. 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.”
Trump added: “I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations. What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position? They didn’t, they only made it worse!”
He said: “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?”
At least 16 people died in a large explosion in Kabul on September 2. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast, which came even as United States envoy Zalmay Khalilzad briefed the Afghan government on its deal to remove troops from the country.
Afghanistan has witnessed several terror attacks in the past few months amid US peace talks with the Taliban. The terror group wants all American and NATO troops to leave the country and is at its strongest now since the US took control over large parts of the country following the 9/11 attack.
The draft deal with the US has not yet been approved by Trump, who has been keen on removing troops from the country before the 2020 US elections. There are currently between 13,000 to 14,000 troops in Afghanistan.
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