Trump calls off Afghanistan peace talks

President Donald Trump said Saturday that he was calling off “peace negotiations” with Taliban leadership after a U.S. service member was killed in a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Trump tweeted that he was scheduled to hold a secret meeting at Camp David Sunday with Taliban leadership and, separately, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

The United States has been working on a deal with the group that harbored 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden to pull troops out of Afghanistan and end the nation’s longest war.

The meeting at Camp David would have come just days before the 18th anniversary of 9/11.

The attack in Kabul on Thursday, for which the Taliban took credit, killed 12 and injured 42.

“I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations,” Trump tweeted. “What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?”

It was just one of a number of attacks by the group in the past week, including attempts to take control of two Afghan cities, which reinforced fears in the country about what would happen if the U.S. withdraws.

“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,” Trump tweeted.

Neither the White House nor the State Department were immediately available for comment.

The group controls or heavily influences about half the country, and some U.S. officials fear it could invade the other regions.

Associated Press contributed.

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