On Saturday, in a series of tweets, US President Donald Trump announced the ‘calling off’ of Afghan peace talks, which were scheduled for Sunday. The negotiations were drawn back after the Taliban claimed the responsibility of Thursday Kabul blast, which took the lives of 12 people including a US soldier.
Trump accused the Afghan militant group of trying to prove its strength ahead of the Sunday talks. Trump wrote,”…an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great-great soldiers, and 11 other people. I immediately canceled the meeting and called off peace negotiations. What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?”
He 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.”
Trump’s ‘cancellation of talks’ tweets was followed by Taliban threats to the US for stepping-down from the dialogue. Taliban warned on Sunday that the cancellation of peace dialogue would cost more American lives, while Washington geared up, to keep up military pressure on the militant group.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, criticized Trump’s ‘call off’ move and said that the US military has also been attacking Afghanistan at the same time.
Mujahid said, “This will lead to more losses to the US. Its credibility will be affected, its anti-peace stance will be exposed to the world, losses to lives and assets will increase.”
The Afghan militant group left open a possibility of resuming talks as it said, “If the way if talks are chosen instead of war, we are committed to that until the end.” The secret Sunday meeting between the Taliban and US leaders was to be held at Camp David, the presidential retreat in the state of Maryland.