Taliban seek US’ clarification on stalled peace talks

Cheryl Sanders
September 12, 2019

Trump had hoped to cap months of U.S. negotiations with the Taliban militants, who control large parts of Afghanistan, with a secret meeting at Camp David that would include Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and was aimed at securing an agreement to pull USA troops out of America's longest war of 18 years.

The US has taken this step after the Taliban took responsibility for the attack in Kabul last week.

On Monday, the president declared that US peace talks with the Taliban are "dead".

Senator Mitt Romney said that "it wouldn't have been my choice to have the Taliban at Camp David" - an opinion echoed by Senator Ron Johnson, who said he was "glad" the talks were not held there.

Asked by Fox News if the talks were "now dead" and what it might take to restart them, Pompeo said "for the time being they are" dead and "if the other team commits an act that's inconsistent with that, President Trump is not going to take that deal". What's happening is this. "That's not going to happen", McKenzie told reporters. The US has been conducting peace talks with the Taliban and the two sides were hopeful of a deal that included America cutting down on troops in Afghanistan and guarantees by Taliban of not allowing the Afghan soil to be ever used again for terror activities.

On Saturday, following deadly terrorist talks in the Afghan capital of Kabul, Trump said via Twitter that he canceled plans to hold secret Camp David talks with the Taliban leadership and Afghan leaders on Sunday.

The Taliban said more American lives would be lost as a result of Trump's decision to cancel talks.

An unidentified official from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which maintains a force of about 16,000 troops in Afghanistan, told AFP on September 9 that its focus "remains unchanged" in the wake of Trump's decision to cancel the secret meeting.

"So, they are dead as far as I'm concerned".

The Taliban on Tuesday sought clarification from the United States after Washington called off peace negotiations with the Afghan insurgent group following a suicide attack in Kabul that killed 12 people including an American soldier. "So that's the way it is", he said.

"We had two ways to end occupation in Afghanistan, one was jihad and fighting, the other was talks and negotiations", the news agency quoted Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid as saying.

In his interview to Fox News, Pompeo said that the U.S. and Taliban negotiators had been working for months for a peace and reconciliation deal.

The US now has about 14,000 troops in the country. “I would never tell you. We have a very specific number, ” he said. "When they did that they killed 12 people", Trump said. I'm not looking to discuss it.

Inviting the Taliban leaders on America's land is the biggest development in the discussion going on between United States and Taliban and that too just a few days before the anniversary of 11, September 2001.

Khalilzad had said in Kabul that he had reached an agreement in principle with the Taliban. “Well, that's always the question.

The talks were aimed at securing a peace deal to end 18 years of war.

Trump said that the United States has been a policeman there for a long time and "we'd like to get out but we'll get out at the right time". "They did a mistake".

Other reports by iNewsToday