WASHINGTON - United States and Afghan Taliban peace deal faces a big setback, international media has reported.
In a rare move on Saturday night, US President Donald Trump said that he had called off a secret meeting at Camp David with Taliban leaders and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani over a deadly suicide bombing by the Taliban on Thursday that left at one American soldier and 12 other people dead and scores more wounded.
“....an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers, and 11 other people. I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations. What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position? They didn’t, they....,” Trump tweeted as eyes were focused on Qatar over a possible signing of the agreement between the US and the Taliban .
‘Taliban Building The False Leverage’
During the nine months of talks, Trump remained under pressure from the Afghan government, politicians and some members of his own administration who mistrust the Taliban and thought it was too early to withdraw US forces from the country.
Mr. Trump also lashed out at the Taliban by saying that the group was trying to build leverage on the talks by rejecting the ceasefire and killing the innocent people.
“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 tweeted, adding that the Taliban sought to “build false leverage”.
Mr. Khalilzad at the time said that based on the draft agreement, the US will withdraw 5,000 troops from five bases in Afghanistan within 135 days if conditions in the agreement are addressed by the Taliban .