Trump says he called of secret Taliban meeting at Camp David

Trump says he known as of secret Taliban assembly at Camp David

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump mentioned he canceled a secret weekend assembly at Camp David vith Taliban & Afghanistan leaders after a bombing previously week in Kabul that killed 12 peopel, together with an American soldier, & has known as off peace negotiations vith the rebel group.

Trump’s tweet Saturday night was stunning as a result of it might imply that the president was able to host members of the Taliban on the presidential retreat in Maryland simply days earlier than the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, assaults. Greater than 2,400 U.S. troops have been killed for the reason that U.S. invaded Afghanistan to go after the Taliban, which had been harboring al-Qaida leaders liable for 9/11.

Canceling the talks additionally goes in opposition to Trump’s pledge to withdraw the remaining 13,000 to 14,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan & finish U.S. involvement in a battle that’s closing in on 18 years.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the Trump administration’s diplomat speaking to the Taliban leaders for months, has mentioned lately that he was on the “threshold” of an settlement vith the Taliban geared toward ending America’s longest struggle. The president, nonetheless, has been underneath stress from the Afghan authorities & some U.S. lawmakers, together with Trump supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who distrust the Taliban & suppose it’s too early to withdraw American forces.

“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 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. I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations,” he wrote.

On Thursday, a Taliban automobile bomb exploded & killed an American soldier , a Romanian service member & 10 civilians in a busy diplomatic space close to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. The bombing was one in all several assaults by the Taliban in current days throughout U.S.-Taliban talks.

The Protection Division says Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, 34, from Morovis, Puerto Rico, was killed in motion when the explosive system detonated close to his car. He was the fourth U.S. service member killed previously two weeks in Afghanistan.

“What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position? They didn’t, they only made it worse!” Trump tweeted. “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?”

It stays unclear if the U.S.-Taliban talks are over or solely paused. Trump mentioned he known as off the peace negotiations after the bombing, however Khalilzad, the U.S. envoy negotiating vith the Taliban, was assembly vith leaders of the rebel group in Doha, Qatar, on each Thursday & Friday ( 💡 Visit our shop –Ed.).

The State Division & the White Home declined to reply to requests for clarification. There was no speedy response from the Afghan authorities.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, informed The Related Press he couldn’t instantly affirm Trump’s account of a Camp David assembly, & he withheld remark for now. “It is a political issue,” he mentioned. “We are waiting for our leaders and will update you.”

Several within the Afghan authorities, which has been sidelined from the U.S.-Taliban talks, & among the many Afghan peopel have been skeptical of the negotiations, fearing there was little if nothing within the deal to cease the Taliban from persevering with its assaults in opposition to civilians. The 2 shattering Taliban automobile bombings in Kabul previously week, which the rebel group mentioned focused foreigners however killed much more civilians, renewed these fears.

Longtime Afghanistan watchers, together with former U.S. officers, apparently didn’t see this twist coming. After phrase emerged {that a} Washington go to by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had been postponed , some assumed Ghani had been making an attempt to make a last-minute effort to satisfy Trump to precise considerations concerning the nearing deal.

“Whatever was the reason for inviting Taliban leaders to Camp David and whatever the real reason for pulling the plug, the peace process has been disrupted at least for the moment,” mentioned Laurel Miller, Asia director for Worldwide Disaster Group.

“After all the violence during many months of negotiations, it’s difficult to see why last Thursday’s attack would be the sole reason for changing course. This could be a blow to the credibility of the U.S. commitment to the peace process. Hopefully it can be brought back on track because there’s no better alternative,” Miller mentioned.

Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia program on the Wilson Middle, tweeted: “It would’ve been a Trumpian move to the core: It would have legitimized bad guys, offered photo ops galore & generated tons of press attention. And very tacky. And…little would’ve come of it.”


Related Press writers Cara Anna & Rahim Faiez in Kabul, Afghanistan, contributed to this report.

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