Trump says he canceled peace talks with Taliban about the attack

WASHINGTON / ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - US President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that he was canceling peace talks with Taliban leaders in Afghanistan as rebel groups claimed responsibility for last week's attack on US troops and 11 others in Kabul Had taken

Trump said he planned a secret meeting with "top leaders" of the Taliban on Sunday at a presidential complex in Camp David, Maryland. Trump said he also planned to meet with the President of Afghanistan.

But Trump said he immediately postponed talks when he spoke of the rebels being behind the attack.

"If they can't accept a cease-fire during these important peace talks and they even kill 12 innocent people, they probably won't have the power to negotiate a meaningful settlement anyway," he said. Trump said on Twitter.

The surprise declaration cast doubt on the future of the draft agreement made last week by Zalmay Khalilzad, the special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, who is predicting the return of thousands of US troops in the coming months.

The Taliban did not immediately react, but the decision seemed to deter them.

Hours before Trump's tweet, the Taliban leader, who was familiar with talks with US officials, including Khalilzad and Taliban chief negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, said an agreement to sign the Taliban seemed close.

Taliban fighters, who now control more territory than at any time since 2001, have launched new attacks and two suicide attacks against the cities of North Kunduz and Pul-e Khumri in the past week. Chief in the capital city of Kabul.

One of the blasts, American First Class Sergeant Ellis A., in a suicide bombing Thursday in Kabul. It claimed the lives of Barreto Ortiz, 34, of Puerto Rico, who increased the number of American troops to 16. He died in Afghanistan this year.

The increase in Taliban insurgency attacks in Afghanistan has been "particularly worthless" for peace efforts in the country, a senior US military official said during a visit to neighboring Pakistan on Saturday. Many Taliban terrorists.

US Navy General Kenneth McKenzie, who oversees US troops in the area, declined to comment on diplomatic negotiations, but criticized the Taliban's wave of violence, which condemned the long-term settlement.

Mackenzie, the head of the US Central Command, said that the Taliban are particularly useless in the history of Afghanistan today to escalate violence, told reporters accompanying them.

McKenzie said that for the progress of the peace process, "all parties must commit to a possible political settlement", which, in turn, should reduce violence.

"If we can't achieve that goal, it's hard to see that the parties can honor the terms of the agreement, whatever they may be," McKenzie said.

According to the draft agreement, some 5,000 US troops will withdraw in the coming months in exchange for a guarantee that Afghanistan will not serve as a base for terrorist attacks against the United States and its allies.

However, a total peace agreement lasting more than 18 years after the war would later depend on "intra-Afghan" negotiations involving representatives from civil society and leaders, as well as better agreement on issues including the rest of the population. About 14,000 US troops, plus thousands of other NATO troops.

The Taliban rejected the call for a cease-fire and instead carried out their operations throughout the country. It is unclear whether they will accept direct negotiations with the Afghan government, which they consider to be an illegitimate "puppet" regime.


For the Afghans, the recent increase in Taliban attacks has raised fears about the impossibility of reaching a stable settlement following total withdrawal from the United States.

Ghani called the talks "futile" after Thursday's suicide bombings, and his spokesman said there would soon be an official response to Trump's announcement.

The Taliban's strategy rests on the belief that success on the battlefield will strengthen their influence in future interactions with Afghan leaders. Some of his commanders on the ground also said that they are determined not to release