Trump calls off Afghanistan peace talks after bombing in Kabul

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By Euronews
Trump calls off Afghanistan peace talks after bombing in Kabul
Copyright  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

US President Donald Trump said he was cancelling peace talks with Taliban leaders and the President of Afghanistan after a car bombing in Kabul killed one U.S. service member and 11 others.

The US president said the leaders were supposed to come to Camp David — the country retreat of U.S. presidents — for talks on Sunday. The administration had been working on a peace settlement to end a war that has gone on for almost 18 years.

There are roughly 14,000 troops remaining in the country and more than 2,400 U.S. troops have been killed since the U.S. invaded the country after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Trump said he was cancelling the talks after the Taliban claimed the car bombing in Kabul.

"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 tweeted.

The agreement followed nine rounds of U.S. negotiations with the Taliban.

Trump's Afghanistan envoy Zalmay Khalilzad told Afghanistan's TOLOnews on Monday that an agreement had been reached "in principle" but that Trump needed to agree to it. On the same day, the Taliban carried out another deadly attack that injured more than 100 civilians.

A group of nine former US diplomatic officials who worked on Afghanistan primarily during the Obama and Bush administrations recently wrote that the negotiations with the Taliban could risk "a return to the total civil war that consumed Afghanistan".

They said it was not clear that the Taliban would accept a peace settlement and wrote: "to protect our security interests we must not leave completely until peace is achieved."

Additional sources • Reuters