‘Called off peace talks with Taliban over Kabul bombing’: Trump

US President Donald Trump on Saturday said he cancelled peace talks with Afghanistan’s Taliban leaders after the insurgent group said it was behind an attack in Kabul that killed an American soldier and 11 other people.

“Unbeknownst to almost everyone, the major Taliban leaders and, separately, the President of Afghanistan, were going to secretly meet with me at Camp David on Sunday,” the US President wrote, “They were coming to the United States tonight. Unfortunately, in order to build false leverage, they admitted toan 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.”

Trump elaborated by hinting at the fact that he will not have any sort of deal with a group who would kill so many to ‘strengthen their bargaining position’. “They didn’t, they only made it worse!” exclaimed the US President.

“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. How many more decades are they willing to fight?” Trump said on Twitter, adding he had been planning to meet with Taliban leaders on Sunday.

An American soldier, a Romanian service member and 10 other civilians were killed in a suicide bomb blast in Kabul on Thursday, for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility. This was the second attack in the week that had seen another Taliban bomb blast in Kabul on Monday that had killed five and injured 50 others.

The US is in the midst of brokering a peace deal with the Taliban in Qatar via Trump’s special envoy on Afghanistan,Zalmay Khalilzad; however, these attacks come as a serious threat to what could be a major breakthrough by way of a peace deal.

(With agency inputs