President Trump says he's called off peace talks with the Taliban after the group admitted it was behind a deadly bombing in Afghanistan. But what’s upsetting people on both sides of the aisle is where his talks were planned to take place. Speaking via Twitter, Mr. Trump has revealed that Taliban leaders and the president of Afghanistan were set to meet with him at Camp David yesterday – just days before the 18th anniversary of 9/11.
The why isn’t such a shock. As we told you before, a car bomb attack near the U.S. embassy in Kabul last week left an American soldier and over ten others dead. Trump says the Taliban hoped the bombing would strengthen their negotiating position, but the President said they've just made it worse. He added bombing shows they probably don't have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is defending Trump's decision to invite a Taliban representative to Camp David. Appearing on CNN's “State of the Union” Pompeo says the Trump administration has "an obligation to do everything it can" to seek peace. Pompeo said he fully supported the idea and the direction the administration has taken in regard to Afghanistan.
For his part, Afghanistan's President wants the Taliban to cut out the violence and to engage with the Trump administration. President Ashraf Ghani is calling on the Taliban leadership to declare a ceasefire and sit at the table with the Americans to negotiate an end to the nearly 20-year old conflict. Speaking on his behalf, Afghani officials noted, "Real peace will come when Taliban agree to a ceasefire."
Source: White House