On Sunday, the Taliban responded to Trump’s last-minute decision to end months-long peace talks.
“Now that the U.S. President Trump has called off the negotiations with the Islamic emirate, this has damaged the U.S. the most, has affected its reputation, has further disclosed its anti-peace stance, and increased financial losses and loss in lives and affected America’s activities when it comes to political interaction,” the Taliban said in a statement.
Trump claims that he ended the negotiations due to a Taliban bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed eleven including an American soldier.
“They admitted to an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great-great soldiers,” Trump wrote on Twitter Saturday. “I immediately canceled the meeting and called off peace negotiations.”
Officials, however, state that the cancellation was actually due to Trump’s reaction to the Taliban’s unmoving terms during negotiations, and a last-minute plan to meet with Taliban leaders at Camp David.
“We had productive negotiations with the U.S. negotiators and the agreement was finalized,” the Taliban wrote on Sunday. “We are committed to continuing negotiations till the end if a political settlement is chosen instead of war. The U.S. reaction to one attack ahead of the signing of the agreement does not show patience or experience.”
Mike Pompeo, the nation’s top diplomat, appeared on a Sunday morning talk show and defended Trump’s decision to cancel peace talks with the Taliban.
Appearing on “Fox News Sunday” Pompeo said, “President Trump ultimately made the decision,” Pompeo said, adding that Trump wanted to look both the president of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani and Taliban leaders “in the eye” to determine if a final agreement could be signed off on.
“So we found that arrangement acceptable, that the verification was adequate and we concluded it was a perfectly appropriate place,” Pompeo said. “It’s almost always the case. … that you don’t get to negotiate with good guys.”
Pompeo also confirmed that the secret meeting was scrubbed, but also that months-long peace negotiations with Taliban leadership are dead, for now. And the lead U.S. negotiator is being called back home.
“For the time being that is absolutely the case,” Pompeo said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “We’ve recalled Ambassador [Zalmay] Khalilzad back to Washington.”