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Taliban vows ‘Americans will suffer’ after Trump cancels peace talks

A vehicle born improvised explosive device exploded near the German Embassy and a US base, on Jan 17, 2009. This was the primary vehicle in the attack. The VBIED killed and wounded multi-national personnel and damaged vehicles and nearby buildings. (Tech. Sgt. Brenda Nipper/International Security Assistance Force HQ Public Affairs)
September 09, 2019

After President Donald Trump canceled secret peace negotiations with the Taliban, the group has vowed to continue their attacks on Americans.

“The Americans will suffer more than anyone else for cancelling the talks,” said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, according to Reuters on Sunday.

“Both sides were preparing for the announcement and signing of the agreement,” the Taliban statement added, according to the Associated Press. “We will continue the ongoing jihad (against foreign occupation) and we firmly believe in the ultimate victory.”

Trump had announced on Saturday the cancelation of the secret meetings, which were slated to take place over the weekend at Camp David.

Trump cited the group’s latest attack in Kabul, Afghanistan on Thursday – a car bomb that killed a U.S. special forces soldier and 11 others – as the latest example of the Taliban’s unacceptable violence.

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“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. They were coming to the United States tonight. Unfortunately, in order to build false leverage, they admitted to an 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,” the president tweeted.

“What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position? They didn’t, they only made it worse! 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 added.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. and the Taliban were close to landing a peace deal until the latest attack happened and claimed an American’s life.

“The Taliban failed to live up to a series of commitments that they had made, and when that happened President Trump said, ‘I’m not going to take that deal. I’m not going to work with someone that can’t deliver on their commitments,’” Pompeo said.

In Pompeo’s words, Trump canceled the talks to avoid “reward[ing] that behavior,” a reference to the bombing attack.

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The U.S. and the Taliban had agreed to hold talks with Afghan officials on Sept. 23, five days ahead of Afghanistan’s presidential election.

“We had a commitment from the Taliban that said they would break from al-Qaida publicly and permanently,” Pompeo pointed out. “We had a commitment from them that said they would reduce violence.

“We had a commitment that they would meet in Oslo to begin reconciliation conversation, and then the Taliban overreached,” Pompeo said. “They killed an American in an effort to gain leverage at the negotiating table, and President Trump said, ‘Enough.’”

Pompeo noted that the U.S. has killed “over 1,000 Taliban” over the last 10 days alone, noting that the U.S. is putting heavy pressure on the group.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan who has been heading peace talks with the Taliban, has been recalled during the halt in negotiations.