Trump Says He’s Called Off Negotiations With Taliban After Afghanistan Bombing | World Defense

Trump Says He’s Called Off Negotiations With Taliban After Afghanistan Bombing

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Trump Says He’s Called Off Negotiations With Taliban After Afghanistan Bombing

Trump Says He’s Called Off Negotiations With Taliban After Afghanistan Bombing



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President Trump said on Saturday that he had canceled a secret meeting at Camp David with Taliban leaders and the president of Afghanistan.

President Trump said on Saturday that he had canceled a secret meeting at Camp David with Taliban leaders and the president of Afghanistan.CreditCreditErin Schaff/The New York Times
By Michael Crowley, Lara Jakes and Mujib Mashal
  • Sept. 7, 2019Updated 9:58 p.m. ET

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WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Saturday that he had canceled a secret meeting at Camp David with Taliban leaders and the president of Afghanistan and had called off monthslong negotiations with the Afghan insurgent group that appeared to be nearing a peace agreement.
“Unbeknownst to almost everyone,” Mr. Trump wrote in a series of tweets, Taliban leaders and the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, were headed to the United States on Saturday for what would have been a historic meeting at Camp David.
But Mr. Trump angrily said that “in order to build false leverage,” the Taliban had admitted to a suicide car bomb attack on Thursday that had killed an American soldier and 11 others in the capital of Kabul. “I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations,” he wrote.
“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,” Mr. Trump wrote. “How many more decades are they willing to fight?”
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Mr. Trump’s announcement was startling for multiple reasons. A surprise summit at Camp David with leaders of an insurgent group that has killed thousands of Americans since the October 2001 invasion of Afghanistan would have been a sensational diplomatic gambit, on par with Mr. Trump’s meetings with the once-reclusive North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. A senior administration official said the meeting had been planned for Monday, just two days before the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, which were plotted from Afghanistan and led to the United States’ invasion of the country.
The move also appears to scuttle — for now — Mr. Trump’s longstanding hope to deliver on a campaign promise to withdraw American troops from an 18-year conflict that he has called an aimless boondoggle. It comes amid stubborn resistance within Afghanistan’s government about the emerging agreement, not only for security reasons but because Mr. Ghani has been determined to preserve an election planned for Sept. 28, which he is favored to win. The Taliban have insisted on postponing the election.

  • The details of the meeting and exact timeline of its scheduling and cancellation, as described by Mr. Trump, were unclear on Saturday night. On Friday, Afghan officials confirmed that Mr. Ghani postponed a planned meeting in Washington. The senior Trump administration official said the decision to cancel the meeting had been made on Thursday, but Mr. Trump had delayed his announcement.
It was also unclear whether Mr. Trump was calling a permanent halt to the peace negotiations. The president has reversed such decision in short order before. In May 2018, for instance he abruptly canceled his second summit with Mr. Kim, only to reschedule it days later.
Those have been under way since last winter, when Mr. Trump’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, began trekking to Doha, Qatar, for meetings with Taliban representatives. United States and foreign officials said that the talks had reached an advanced stage and, until Saturday night, that an agreement with the Pashtun insurgent group that once harbored the Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden was close at hand.



In nine rounds of negotiations, Mr. Khalilzad painstakingly worked toward a final peace agreement that would be brokered between the Taliban and Afghan government officials and civil leaders.
Mr. Khalilzad has pledged to draw down American military troops in exchange for a partial cease-fire by the Taliban. In a recent interview with the Afghan channel ToloNews, he said 5,400 United States forces would leave Afghanistan within 135 days after the agreement is signed.
That agreement would initially only reduce the number of American troops to about what it was when Mr. Trump took office in 2017.



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The site of a suicide attack in Kabul last week. Mr. Trump said that the Taliban had admitted to one such attack that left an American soldier and 11 others dead.

The site of a suicide attack in Kabul last week. Mr. Trump said that the Taliban had admitted to one such attack that left an American soldier and 11 others dead.CreditHedayatullah Amid/EPA, via Shutterstock
As for the remaining 8,600 American forces, they would leave according to a gradual timeline that officials could be within 16 months.
That would allow Mr. Trump, who has been routinely critical of expensive American interventions in the Muslim world, to declare that he had ended a long conflict that has grown unpopular and obscure with the American public, and to boast that he had achieved an outcome his predecessor, President Barack Obama, sought in vain.
The reality could be more complicated. Mr. Trump has hinted that the United States would retain “strong intelligence” in the country, language that some experts believe to describe plans for a robust presence of armed C.I.A. operatives. And even if an initial deal with the Taliban were to be reached, its enforcement could face numerous pitfalls.


Critics of the nascent agreement — including the former American commander in Afghanistan, the retired Army general, David Petraeus — have warned that it could lead to the return of Al Qaeda. Several have invoked the example of Mr. Obama’s troop withdrawal from Iraq, which allowed for the emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Those critics have pointed to a continued high tempo of Taliban attacks as a sign that the theocratic insurgent group cannot set aside violence. The bombing cited by the president involved a car bomb detonated on Thursday at a checkpoint near the American Embassy in Kabul.
Afghan government officials who have been briefed on the negotiations privately said Mr. Khalilzad did not force enough concessions from the Taliban to ensure stability as the American military leaves Afghanistan.
One official said the agreement between Mr. Khalilzad and the Taliban will not assure national elections on Sept. 28, as Mr. Ghani has demanded. Rather than requiring a nationwide cease-fire, it calls for a reduction of violence in Kabul and Parwan. And, the Afghan government official said, it may allow the Taliban to continue referring to itself in official conduct as the “Islamic Emirate” — as it did when the extremist group was ruling Afghanistan with fear.
If anything, said one Afghan official, the negotiations appear to have only emboldened the Taliban. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the closed-door briefings more frankly.
“They are much more emboldened and they have a chance to take over,” the Afghan official said on Wednesday.
Hours after the Thursday bombing in Kabul, Mr. Khalilzad and the top commander in Kabul arrived for a surprise meeting with the Taliban in Doha. They went straight into unexpected and unannounced talks that lasted into the early morning.


At the time, it was unclear what they were negotiating when the special envoy had declared the agreement was final “in principle.” Officials refused to confirm that it was related to the uptick in violence, but now it seems clear it was a last-minute effort to salvage the process.
Reacting to Mr. Trump’s announcement, one Western official aware of the peace developments said that it was nothing short of tragic and that reviving the peace process would not be easy.
The official said the two sides were on the verge of reaching a deal, and a completion of that appeared to have been jeopardized by showmanship. Now it has created an environment where the Taliban, as well as a skeptical region that includes Iran and Russia, will conclude that no process with the Americans can be trusted, the official said.

Michael Crowley and Lara Jakes reported from Washington, and Mujib Mashal from Kabul, Afghanistan.
 

Zeeman

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Talibans are not looking for an invitation to Camp David. To them it means nothing . Not even worth wasting plane tickets.

The whole set up was for Trump to show the world that he has managed to get Afghans and Talibans together and talking.

Talibans showed a middle finger to this idea and Trump had to pretend he is the one cancelling this planned meeting.
 

Lieutenant

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A formed inclusive government is the way to end the conflict. Direct negotiation between the two Afghani parties will sure pave the way for a stable Afghanistan. 35 years already passed, neither the US won nor the Taliban vanished.
 

IbnAbdullah

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Afghan President had already a day earlier cancelled his trip to the USA so what is this moron talking about cancelling the meeting today?

I think this shows that Trump's tweets are not as spontaneous as some make them out to be. The whole thing was cooking behind the scenes and once he felt it was time to make it public he did so.

The kabul attack seems more like an excuse than the actual reason for doing this.

Hopefully things will resume soon enough given how the Americans weren't interested in leaving because they'd established peace but for other reasons that remain unchanged.

I wonder how this will impact our dealings with the US, if at all.
 

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AP Explains: How Trump upended US-Taliban peace talks
By CARA ANNA
18 minutes ago
08 Sept 2019

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — With a series of tweets, President Donald Trump has upended nearly a year of U.S.-Taliban negotiations on ending America’s longest war. He has “called off” the talks and asserted that a planned secret meeting between him and Taliban leaders at Camp David, set for Sunday just days before the 9/11 anniversary, is now canceled. The Taliban have not immediately commented, raising questions about whether Trump’s dramatic move was a face-saving attempt after the deal his envoy said had been reached “in principle” faced serious challenges in recent days.

Here’s a look at the negotiations on a deal that Trump had wanted quickly, calling it “ridiculous” that the U.S. was still in Afghanistan after nearly 18 years and billions of dollars spent.

The Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan with a harsh version of Islamic law from 1996 to 2001 and hosted Osama bin Laden as he masterminded the
9/11 attacks, say they no longer seek a monopoly on power. But militant group now controls or holds sway over roughly half of the country. Many fear a full withdrawal of some 20,000 NATO troops would leave the weak and corrupt Afghan government vulnerable to collapse, or unleash another round of fighting in a war that has killed tens of thousands.

A DEAL WITH FEW DETAILS
The talks between Afghan-born U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban leaders in Qatar, where the insurgent group has a political office, have been so closely guarded that last week Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was shown — not given — the final draft. The Afghan government has been sidelined because the Taliban refuse to negotiate with what they call a U.S. puppet.
The Taliban negotiators have been led by Abdul Ghani Baradar, one of the group’s founders who was released by Pakistan last year after eight years in prison, apparently upon a U.S. request. He is believed to command enough respect to sell a deal to tens of thousands of fighters.
The deal once final would begin a U.S. troop withdrawal with the first 5,000 leaving within 135 days, Khalilzad announced on Monday. That would leave 8,600 troops who train and support Afghan forces after their combat role ended in 2014. In return the Taliban would guarantee that Afghanistan would not be a launching pad for global terror attacks by groups including a local affiliate of the Islamic State organization and the remains of al-Qaida.

But problems quickly emerged. Even as Khalilzad explained the deal to the Afghan people during a nationally televised interview, the Taliban detonated a car bomb targeting a foreign compound in Kabul. Ghani’s office then raised loud objections, agreeing with several former U.S. ambassadors who warned that a hasty U.S. withdrawal without Taliban guarantees on ending violence could lead to “total civil war.” Far from guaranteeing a ceasefire, the deal includes only a reduction in violence in Kabul and neighboring Parwan province, where the U.S. has a military base.

Then on Thursday, a second Taliban car bomb exploded in Kabul and killed 12 people including a U.S. service member — which Trump blamed for his decision to cancel the talks. Khalilzad abruptly returned to Qatar for at least two days of negotiations. One Afghan political analyst, Waheed Muzhda, said he believes Khalilzad invited the Taliban to Camp David to sign the agreement but they rejected that location, angering Trump.
More than 2,400 U.S. service members have been killed in nearly 18 years of fighting in Afghanistan, and some observers are asking why the latest death would derail the U.S.-Taliban negotiations on the apparent brink of a deal. The Taliban have said the attacks strengthen their negotiating position.

“A difficulty created by announcing that the U.S.-Taliban deal was completed in advance of actually announcing the terms of the deal or being ready to sign is that space has been created for those unhappy with it — in Kabul or Washington — to try to modify or disrupt it,” Laurel Miller, Asia director for the International Crisis Group, said shortly before Trump’s announcement.

WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
It is not clear. It seems no one had anticipated a Camp David meeting between Trump and the leaders of an insurgent group that just months ago Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had described as “Taliban terrorists.”

The Taliban seemed just as bewildered, with spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid telling The Associated Press he could not immediately confirm the U.S. president’s account. “We are waiting for our leaders and will update you,” he said. On Saturday night the Taliban spokesman in Qatar, Suhail Shaheen, made no indication the process had collapsed, tweeting about possible locations on the intra-Afghan talks on the country’s political future that were meant to follow a U.S.-Taliban deal.

The Afghan government did not directly comment on Trump’s announcement but repeated its plea for an end to violence and said it believed the U.S.-Taliban talks had stopped at least for now. “We have always said that a real peace will come when the Taliban stop killing Afghans and implement a ceasefire and start direct negotiations with the Afghan government,” it said in a statement.

That prospect still looks challenging, as Trump’s tweets noted he had planned to meet “separately” with Taliban and Afghan leaders at Camp David.
President Ashraf Ghani now might see a clear path to a Sept. 28 presidential election that he has insisted must go forward despite the U.S. pressure for the intra-Afghan talks, including the Taliban, to begin as soon as possible. Those talks were thought to carry the possibility of forming an interim government instead. The Taliban have urged Afghans to boycott the vote and said polling stations would be targets.

Afghans would welcome any agreement that brings improved security and governance. But many have feared the U.S. would settle for an agreement that breaks down as soon as the last American soldier leaves. The prospect of a Taliban return has especially worried Afghan women, who secured new freedoms after 2001 but are still heavily restricted in the deeply conservative country.

“At the end of the day, this is a bilateral accord between the U.S. government and the Taliban. The Afghan government is not a party to it,” said Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia program at the Wilson Center, ahead of Trump’s announcement. “This suggests the Trump administration may reach a point where it decides to sign off on the deal even if it still faces opposition from Kabul.”

But the Trump administration walking away from a deal is a development that all parties are now hurrying to digest.
___
Associated Press writer Rahim Faiez in Kabul contributed.

 

aliraza

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I think this shows that Trump's tweets are not as spontaneous as some make them out to be. The whole thing was cooking behind the scenes and once he felt it was time to make it public he did so.

The kabul attack seems more like an excuse than the actual reason for doing this.

Hopefully things will resume soon enough given how the Americans weren't interested in leaving because they'd established peace but for other reasons that remain unchanged.

I wonder how this will impact our dealings with the US, if at all.
Walikum As Salam,

Irrespective of what the media says, I dont think THIS attack was by the Taliban. This is not their MO.

As of now Afghan Taliban control nearly 85% of Afghanistan. US + Northern Alliance = 0. The Afghan Taliban are not in a hurry for peace,
withdrawal of foreign forces, or entertaining the drug lords in Kabul.

They are battle hardened and they will play it like they see it fit. In other words no dictation from anyone.

IMO it is NOT the US who walked away from the talks, but the other way around, the Afghan Taliban did.

This indirectly has gone in Pakistan's favor.
 

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9753
 

Khafee

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China Calls for ‘Orderly, Responsible’ Foreign Troop Exit From Afghanistan
September 7, 2019 08:57 PM

9754

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, center, shakes hands with Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani, right, and Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sept, 7, 2019

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN - China urged U.S.-led foreign troops Saturday to withdraw from Afghanistan in an “orderly and responsible” manner if a prospective peace deal is signed with the Islamist Taliban to end the 18-year war.

U.S. negotiators are in the final stage of their yearlong bilateral dialogue with the insurgent group. The peace process, being hosted by Qatar, could end America’s longest overseas military intervention.

“We call on the United States and the Taliban to continue with the negotiations and to implement the agreement after it is signed,” visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters in neighboring Pakistan.

The top Chinese diplomat spoke after attending a trilateral dialogue with Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and their host and Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

“In particular, we call on them [the U.S. and Taliban] to make good on their commitments regarding the troop drawdown and counterterrorism efforts so that the seeds of peace can be sown and take root,” Wang said. He reiterated China’s resolve to increase its economic and political engagement with Afghanistan to help in rebuilding efforts there.

Draft framework agreement ‘in principle’
U.S. chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad said Monday that he had reached “in principle” a draft framework ageement with the Taliban. The document outlines a foreign troop drawdown timetable in return for Taliban assurances they will not harbor transnational terrorist groups that threaten U.S. and allied nations.

Khalilzad, however, said the agreement would have to be reviewed and approved by U.S. President Donald Trump before it was signed.

Khalilzad explained the deal would require 5,000 American forces to immediately withdraw from five Afghan bases within the first 135 days, but he did not discuss the fate of the residual U.S. military force of roughly 8,600 service members.

Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen told VOA this week, without elaborating, that all U.S. troops and their NATO allies would have to leave Afghanistan under the deal. Some reports said that could happen by the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

China’s Wang, however, cautioned against a hasty foreign troop withdrawal.

“The situation in Afghanistan is now at a critical stage. The withdrawal of foreign troops needs to be conducted in an orderly and responsible manner in order to ensure the smooth transition of the situation in Afghanistan,” Wang said.

Beijing’s increased regional involvement stems from concerns that fugitive anti-China militants could exploit continued instability in the neighboring country to threaten fragile security in western Chinese border regions.

Khalilzad has said the Taliban would also be bound under the deal to engage in peace negotiations with Afghan officials and other members of the turmoil-ridden Afghan society to discuss a cease-fire and the country’s political future.

But the Taliban refuse to engage in direct talks with the Afghan government, rejecting it as an American puppet.

Urged engagement
Wang supported U.S. calls for the insurgents to commit themselves to engaging in talks with government officials and other Afghan stakeholders to build a framework for intra-Afghan negotiations on a political arrangement that is acceptable to all parties in the event of foreign troop drawdown.

Afghanistan’s Rabbani, while addressing reporters, reiterated Kabul’s worries that the framework agreement Washington has reached with the Taliban could encourage the insurgents to try to militarily seize control of power if foreign forces leave the country.

“As the peace efforts continue, the Taliban have yet to show genuine commitment to peace. This is manifested by their decision to continue terrorist attacks, killing innocent Afghans from all walks of life on a daily basis,” Rabbani said.

The Taliban have intensified attacks across the country in recent days, killing scores of Afghan forces and bringing more territory under their control. The insurgents maintain that cessation of hostilities is not being discussed with the U.S., saying the issue will be on the agenda when intra-Afghan negotiations begin as an outcome of the deal with Washington.

China established the trilateral dialogue forum in 2017 with a mission to ease tensions between its two neighbors, Afghanistan and Pakistan, through increased bilateral security, political and economic cooperation. The tensions stem from long-running Afghan allegations that the Taliban leadership directs insurgent activities from alleged sanctuaries on Pakistani soil.

Islamabad rejects the charges, saying for the past decade its security forces have eliminated all militant infrastructures on the Pakistani side of the long, porous Afghan border. Pakistan also takes credit for arranging the ongoing U.S.-Taliban dialogue.

Pakistan’s Qureshi said Saturday that his country hoped the framework agreement being finalized between the U.S. and Taliban would lead to intra-Afghan negotiations for a sustainable and durable peace.

“In order for Pakistan to be peaceful, Afghanistan has to be peaceful,” Qureshi said. “We have undertaken serious [security] operations to clear our areas from terrorist activity … and there is international recognition for it.”

 

Mangus Ortus Novem

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The Greatest Game is in town.. and Pak is The Heartland ....

We need to understand that GanguFacistRegime's illegal annexation of IoJK and apparent discord in Afghan peace talks are inter-related.

It is imperative that our understanding extends from our emotional boundaries and we pass a deeper look at the Geo-Strategic Landscape of The Greatest Game ... from HK protests to Sudanese bread-price crisis... The Region is at stake... winner takes all.

Since, we are at it... we need to figure the BRI routes mapping them along the extended conflict zones or potential contested ones. In this mix we also must pay particular attention to the PRC movements/iniatives in Himalays... Sikkim, Bhuttan, Assam or entire SevenSisters... Berma... SL out of PRC hands for now.

A sudden stand still in Iranian-US harshness even after dowing of rather expensive US drone... tensions in Lebanon... disquiet in Eygpt.

Finally, we are hearing whispers of CPEC Command. The Chinese FM was in town and held meeting with all pillars of PakState.... this coming after the top man from PLA visited with full delegation and equally met all pillars of PakState.

The Talibs might have thought it proper to disengange for better terms later and the OrangeKing just did his tweeting to save face... or it might not be so.

In the end.. fighting and more daring attacks are to continue. Standardised blame game... terror attacks inside PakSoil and all attempts by the GanguFacistRegime to take attention away from IoJK and Crimes Against Humanity there.

An American exit from AF would mean loss in power for the FacistRegime... hence it and its masters would everything to keep Da Amerianz there... bogged down and flying drones...

At this stage SCO needs to come forward and make solid inroads into peace process.

But the question is peace with whom? All implants in Kabul would love for Americanz to stay for another 50 years... but the same implants will leave for Dubai the same day Yanks pak their bags... This time Russia wouldn't be supporting Northern Alliance and China wouldn't be allowing Ganguz either. Sino-Pak-Rus concensus is : No outside involvement in AF post American exit as long as there is no terrorism emerging from that unlucky country... otherwise, air support to take out the hounds-of-hell...which are already positioned there.

A regional framework needs to come forward. GCC can play a vital role in it as well.... otherwise, might be sidelined by their regional nemesis.

All-in-all more fighting... until Democrats have their final nominee.. which could determine, ever so slightly, the nature of withdrawal.

Just a simple question: Why would anyone spend $1.3Trillion in a war just to gain foothold in the prime realestate in Asia and just pack their bags and leave as good boy?
 

TsAr

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Taliban: US has most to lose from cancelled talks

Afghan peace deal: Taliban says US has most to lose from cancelled talks

The Taliban says Americans have the most to lose from cancelling peace negotiations that sought to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan.
In a statement, the group claimed all was going well until the last moment.
US President Donald Trump fired off a series of tweets on Saturday night, calling off the secret meeting at his Camp David retreat the following day.
He said his decision came after the Taliban admitted being behind a recent attack that killed a US soldier.
What had been planned?
In an unexpected move, Mr Trump had arranged to meet with senior Taliban leaders and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the Maryland retreat.
The meetings were likely to have been kept separate, as the Taliban refuses to talk directly with the Afghan government, insisting they are American puppets.
In 2001, the US invaded Afghanistan and overthrew the Taliban government because the militants had given safe haven to the al-Qaeda network to plan the attacks on the US on 11 September.
On Fox News on Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended the intention to host the Taliban on US soil, days ahead of the attacks' anniversary.
He said Camp David was chosen because it has held difficult peace negotiations in the past. "It's almost always the case that you don't get to negotiate with good guys," he added.
How far had things come?
Nine rounds of talks had already taken place between the US and Taliban representatives in Doha, the capital of the Gulf state of Qatar.
On Monday, the top US negotiator announced a peace deal "in principle".





Media captionTens of thousands of Afghan soldiers have been killed and injured. This is their story
As part of the proposed deal, the US would withdraw 5,400 troops within 20 weeks, in return for Taliban guarantees that Afghanistan would never again be used as a base for terrorism.
The US currently has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan.
What else did the Afghan parties say?
In the statement, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid also accused the US of lacking maturity and experience, after pulling out of talks over one incident.
He also said that the Taliban and the Afghan government had agreed to talks on 23 September. The Afghan government has not confirmed this.
In a news conference in Kabul, a spokesperson for President Ghani simply repeated a long-standing wish for direct negotiation with the group.
"We strongly believe in a process that can be led and owned by Afghan government and Afghan people," said Sediq Sediqqi.
What sparked the cancellation?
On Thursday, a Kabul car bombing carried out by the Taliban killed 12 people, including a US soldier. A Romanian soldier serving with the Nato-led mission was also killed.
But the Taliban had never agreed to end their violent campaign against Afghan and foreign forces while the peace talks were taking place. Sixteen US troops have been killed this year.
A recent escalation of violence had deepened fears that a looming US-Taliban agreement would not end the daily fighting in Afghanistan and its toll on civilians.
Yet Kabul residents on Sunday questioned why the death of one US soldier should scupper prospects for peace.
"So, the Afghans who have been losing their sweet lives during all these years, is their blood worthless?" asked one grocery shop owner who spoke to the BBC's Pashto language service.

Ever since the US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Kabul a week ago with news of "a deal in principle", there have been almost daily Taliban attacks, with a growing chorus of anger in Afghanistan - and the US.
The Taliban say they're targeting foreign forces. But time and again, Afghan civilians are suffering.
The new agreement is said to only include a commitment to reduce violence. A senior US diplomat explained they'd accepted the Taliban argument that a ceasefire was their main bargaining chip for Afghan talks set to follow the US negotiations.
A senior Afghan official angrily told me "a ceasefire is our bargaining chip too", insisting the government would not accept the current deal. Afghan leaders accuse the US of bestowing legitimacy on the Taliban, which has only emboldened them.
There is also mounting scepticism, now voiced by President Trump, that any commitments made by Taliban negotiators in Doha won't be upheld by commanders in the field
What does each side want?
Mr Trump pledged during the 2016 presidential campaign that he would end the US war in Afghanistan.
But he recently said that he wanted to get troop numbers down to 8,600 - about the same as the level when he entered office - and then "make a determination from there". He said the US would maintain a military presence in Afghanistan.
Many in Washington fear that a full US pull-out would leave the country deeply unstable and vulnerable to militant groups that could use it as a base to attack the West.
The Taliban militants now control more territory than at any time since the 2001 US invasion. They have insisted that they will not talk formally to the Afghan government until a timetable for the US troop withdrawal is agreed.
The initial US-Taliban deal was meant to pave the way for intra-Afghan talks on a broader political solution.





Media captionZan TV presenter Ogai Wardak: "If the Taliban come, I will fight them"
Some in Afghanistan fear that any deal could see hard-won rights and freedoms eroded and the Taliban back in power. The militants enforced strict religious laws and treated women brutally during their rule from 1996 to 2001.
Nearly 3,500 members of the international coalition forces have died in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion, more than 2,300 of them American.
In a February 2019 report, the UN said that more than 32,000 Afghan civilians had died.
The Watson Institute at Brown University says 58,000 Afghan security personnel and 42,000 opposition combatants have been killed.
 

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Trump is just trying to extract some more concession from Talibs nothing more. US has no other option except to negotiate with Talibs. So I believe talks will start soon all US wants cease fire that's all.
 

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Taliban: US has most to lose from cancelled talks

Afghan peace deal: Taliban says US has most to lose from cancelled talks

The Taliban says Americans have the most to lose from cancelling peace negotiations that sought to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan.
In a statement, the group claimed all was going well until the last moment.
US President Donald Trump fired off a series of tweets on Saturday night, calling off the secret meeting at his Camp David retreat the following day.
He said his decision came after the Taliban admitted being behind a recent attack that killed a US soldier.
What had been planned?
In an unexpected move, Mr Trump had arranged to meet with senior Taliban leaders and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the Maryland retreat.
The meetings were likely to have been kept separate, as the Taliban refuses to talk directly with the Afghan government, insisting they are American puppets.
In 2001, the US invaded Afghanistan and overthrew the Taliban government because the militants had given safe haven to the al-Qaeda network to plan the attacks on the US on 11 September.
On Fox News on Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended the intention to host the Taliban on US soil, days ahead of the attacks' anniversary.
He said Camp David was chosen because it has held difficult peace negotiations in the past. "It's almost always the case that you don't get to negotiate with good guys," he added.
How far had things come?
Nine rounds of talks had already taken place between the US and Taliban representatives in Doha, the capital of the Gulf state of Qatar.
On Monday, the top US negotiator announced a peace deal "in principle".





Media captionTens of thousands of Afghan soldiers have been killed and injured. This is their story
As part of the proposed deal, the US would withdraw 5,400 troops within 20 weeks, in return for Taliban guarantees that Afghanistan would never again be used as a base for terrorism.
The US currently has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan.
What else did the Afghan parties say?
In the statement, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid also accused the US of lacking maturity and experience, after pulling out of talks over one incident.
He also said that the Taliban and the Afghan government had agreed to talks on 23 September. The Afghan government has not confirmed this.
In a news conference in Kabul, a spokesperson for President Ghani simply repeated a long-standing wish for direct negotiation with the group.
"We strongly believe in a process that can be led and owned by Afghan government and Afghan people," said Sediq Sediqqi.
What sparked the cancellation?
On Thursday, a Kabul car bombing carried out by the Taliban killed 12 people, including a US soldier. A Romanian soldier serving with the Nato-led mission was also killed.
But the Taliban had never agreed to end their violent campaign against Afghan and foreign forces while the peace talks were taking place. Sixteen US troops have been killed this year.
A recent escalation of violence had deepened fears that a looming US-Taliban agreement would not end the daily fighting in Afghanistan and its toll on civilians.
Yet Kabul residents on Sunday questioned why the death of one US soldier should scupper prospects for peace.
"So, the Afghans who have been losing their sweet lives during all these years, is their blood worthless?" asked one grocery shop owner who spoke to the BBC's Pashto language service.

Ever since the US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Kabul a week ago with news of "a deal in principle", there have been almost daily Taliban attacks, with a growing chorus of anger in Afghanistan - and the US.
The Taliban say they're targeting foreign forces. But time and again, Afghan civilians are suffering.
The new agreement is said to only include a commitment to reduce violence. A senior US diplomat explained they'd accepted the Taliban argument that a ceasefire was their main bargaining chip for Afghan talks set to follow the US negotiations.
A senior Afghan official angrily told me "a ceasefire is our bargaining chip too", insisting the government would not accept the current deal. Afghan leaders accuse the US of bestowing legitimacy on the Taliban, which has only emboldened them.
There is also mounting scepticism, now voiced by President Trump, that any commitments made by Taliban negotiators in Doha won't be upheld by commanders in the field
What does each side want?
Mr Trump pledged during the 2016 presidential campaign that he would end the US war in Afghanistan.
But he recently said that he wanted to get troop numbers down to 8,600 - about the same as the level when he entered office - and then "make a determination from there". He said the US would maintain a military presence in Afghanistan.
Many in Washington fear that a full US pull-out would leave the country deeply unstable and vulnerable to militant groups that could use it as a base to attack the West.
The Taliban militants now control more territory than at any time since the 2001 US invasion. They have insisted that they will not talk formally to the Afghan government until a timetable for the US troop withdrawal is agreed.
The initial US-Taliban deal was meant to pave the way for intra-Afghan talks on a broader political solution.





Media captionZan TV presenter Ogai Wardak: "If the Taliban come, I will fight them"
Some in Afghanistan fear that any deal could see hard-won rights and freedoms eroded and the Taliban back in power. The militants enforced strict religious laws and treated women brutally during their rule from 1996 to 2001.
Nearly 3,500 members of the international coalition forces have died in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion, more than 2,300 of them American.
In a February 2019 report, the UN said that more than 32,000 Afghan civilians had died.
The Watson Institute at Brown University says 58,000 Afghan security personnel and 42,000 opposition combatants have been killed.
One thing I won't understand what is women rights? She talking about? fooling ppl with few Kabul pics is not true pic of Afghanistan even under Russian era. They are conservative ppl since ages and will remain so. Theior women not gonna wear skirts it's toataly wrong pics that what west potary in US.
 

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