In one day, US moves from hope to 'dead'

Updated: Sep 11, 2019, 10:54 IST | Agencies |

A day after Pompeo said US was open to resuming talks, Trump says can't happen when Taliban is killing soldiers

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Declaring the Afghan peace talks with the Taliban as "dead", President Donald Trump has said the US has hit the Taliban harder in the past four days than anytime in 10 years.

Trump stunned the world on Saturday when he announced the cancellation of a secret meeting with the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Camp David near Washington. It came after the Taliban claimed responsibility of an attack in Kabul last week, in which a US soldier were among the dead.

The US and Taliban were trying to strike a deal that included America cutting down on troops in Afghanistan and guarantees by Taliban of not allowing the Afghan soil to be used again for terror activities. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had, on Monday, said the US was still open to return to talks with the Taliban.

"What's happening is this. We are talking, we are talking to the government, we are talking to a lot of different people, and we will see," Trump. Trump said he cancelled Camp David on the basis that they (Taliban) did something that they sure shouldn't have done.

US will regret, warns Taliban

The Taliban on Tuesday said the US would regret abandoning negotiations. "We had two ways to end occupation in Afghanistan, one was jihad and fighting, the other was talks and negotiations," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP. "If Trump wants to stop talks, we will take the first way and they will soon regret it," Mujahid added.

Afghans face fragile vote

With an agreement to end US's longest war on hold, Afghanistan suddenly faces a presidential vote amid warnings that it is not ready, and the threat of more violence. Taliban, which control roughly half the country, have told Afghans to boycott the vote and warned that rallies and polling stations would be targets.

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