Trump cancels talks with Taliban leaders and Afghan president

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WASHINGTON – President Trump said on Saturday he canceled a planned Camp David summit with Taliban leaders and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani after a Taliban bombing in Kabul killed a US soldier.

On Twitter, Mr. Trump said the Afghan government and Taliban officials visited the United States on Saturday evening. The president’s tweets reflected his most significant direct involvement in the talks that lasted for months.

“Unbeknownst to almost everyone, the main Taliban leaders and, separately, the President of Afghanistan, were going to meet me secretly at Camp David on Sunday,” he wrote. After the attack, “I immediately canceled the meeting and canceled the peace negotiations. What kind of people would kill so many to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position? “

The cancellation of the meeting is a major setback in efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement of the nearly 18-year-old Afghan war, the longest in the United States. It could not be determined whether negotiations between the United States and the Taliban in the Gulf State of Qatar have been suspended.

The United States and the Taliban resumed direct talks in Doha, the capital of Qatar more than a year ago and last weekend Zalmay Khalilzad, the chief negotiator of the Afghan peace process, said that the negotiators of the United States and the Taliban had reached the “threshold” of an agreement on a troop withdrawal. after nine rounds of talks in Qatar. The deal was only awaiting approval from President Trump, he said. The announcement follows Taliban assaults on two cities in northern Afghanistan.

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