White House:U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday said he cancelled peace talks with Afghanistan’s Taliban leaders after the insurgent group said it was behind an attack in Kabul that killed an American soldier and 11 other people.
Mr. Trump said he had planned a secret meeting with the Taliban’s “major leaders” on Sunday at a presidential compound in Camp David, Maryland. Mr. Trump said he also planned to meet with Afghanistan’s president.
“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,” Trump said in a tweet.
“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.A US soldier and another service member from Romania were killed in the car bombing Thursday in Kabul — the latest major attack claimed by the Taliban even as they negotiated with a US envoy on the withdrawal of thousands of troops.
….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?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 7, 2019
Trump would have met the Taliban at Camp David — scene of secret 1978 talks as Jimmy Carter brokered peace between Israel and Egypt — days before the 18th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, which triggered the US invasion that toppled the militants’ regime.
Washington was jolted by the announcement from Trump, who is fond of dramatic gestures but whose Twitter pronouncements have often come into question later.
“The idea that Trump was planning to host Taliban leaders at Camp David is a rather big surprise,” said Laurel Miller, who served as the US special representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan until early in the Trump administration.