Donald Trump cancels peace deal with Taliban leaders, Afghan President
On Saturday, United States President Donald Trump said that he has canceled a peace deal with Taliban leaders. In a series of tweets, the US President wrote that he had scheduled a secret meeting with Taliban leaders and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani. However, he said he called off the meeting after the Taliban admitted to an attack in Kabul that killed a US soldier.
Trump wrote, "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." He added, "In order to build false leverage, they admitted to an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great soldiers, and 11 other people. I immediately canceled the meeting and called off peace negotiations."
Trump added, "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?"
Notably, after nine rounds of US-Taliban talks over the past year in the capital of Qatar, Doha, US negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad had announced a peace deal "in principle" with Taliban on Monday. The proposed deal included the withdrawal of 5,400 US troops from Afghanistan within 20 weeks. Reportedly, the US has around 14,000 troops deployed in Afghanistan at the moment.
Although the Taliban sought the withdrawal of all 20,000 US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, Trump said that he needed a guarantee that removing the troops wouldn't result in Afghanistan becoming a haven for al-Qaeda and ISIS, who would then launch global attacks.
To recall, a recent suicide car bombing in Kabul killed 12 people, including a US soldier: Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, 34, from Puerto Rico. A Romanian soldier, who was serving the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan, was also killed along with at least 10 Afghan citizens in the attack conducted by the Taliban. Reportedly, the Taliban's attacks have been growing more frequent.