Sep 9, 2019

Trump says U.S.-Taliban peace talks are "dead" after Kabul attack


Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters outside the White House on Monday that U.S. peace talks with the Taliban are "dead" after the group claimed responsibility for a bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, last week that killed an American service member.

The big picture: Trump called off a secret meeting at Camp David this weekend as a result of the bombing, dealing a blow to the "in principle" agreement between the two sides that would have seen 5,400 U.S. troops leave Afghanistan. The Taliban responded on Sunday by claiming that Trump's decision to abruptly end peace talks will cost American lives. Afghans are now bracing for a fresh round of Taliban violence, AP reported Monday.

  • The decision to invite the leaders of the militant group drew backlash from both Democrats and Republicans, many of whom drew attention to the fact that the meeting would take place days before the anniversary of 9/11.
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended the idea on ABC News' "This Week," arguing: "If you're going to negotiate peace, you often have to deal with some pretty bad actors."
  • Pompeo added on CNN's "State of the Union" that the U.S. is still interested in a peace deal, but the Taliban must agree to preconditions such as "certain reductions in violence" and breaking with al-Qaeda.
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