President Trump said, he had canceled a secret meeting at Camp David with Taliban leaders and the president of Afghanistan.
President Trump announced this on Saturday (September 7). It was calling off monthslong negotiations that had appeared to be nearing a peace agreement.
“Unbeknownst to almost everyone,” Mr. Trump wrote in a series of tweets, Taliban leaders and the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, were headed to the United States on Saturday for what would have been a politically electrified meeting at the president’s official Camp David retreat in Maryland.
But Mr. Trump said that “in order to build false leverage,” the Taliban had admitted to a suicide car bomb attack on Thursday that had killed an American soldier and 11 others in the capital of Kabul. “I immediately canceled the meeting and called off peace negotiations,” he wrote.
“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,” Mr. Trump added. “How many more decades are they willing to fight?”
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Taliban fighters, who now control more territory than at any time since 2001, launched fresh assaults on the northern cities of Kunduz and Pul-e Khumri over the past week and carried out two major suicide bombings in the capital Kabul.
One of the blasts, a suicide attack in Kabul on Thursday, took the life of U.S. Army Sergeant 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, 34, from Puerto Rico, bringing the number of American troops killed in Afghanistan this year to 16.