Trump says Afghanistan peace talks with Taliban are ´dead´

Trump says Afghanistan peace talks with Taliban are ´dead´

U.S. Marine General Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, said on Monday the U.S. military is likely to accelerate (Read https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-afghanistan/u-s-military-likely-to-ramp-up-operations-against-taliban-u-s-general-idUSKCN1VU23G) the pace of its operations in Afghanistan to counter the upsurge.

Asked if that meant military activity would increase, he said "I'll leave it to the Department of Defence to talk about specifics, but no one should underestimate President Trump's commitment to achieving those goals". Reuters added, "There are now 14,000 US forces as well as thousands of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops in the country".

The cancellation came after the Taliban suicide attack on September 5 in Kabul.

A draft accord agreed last week would have seen some 5,000 US troops withdrawn over coming months in exchange for guarantees that Afghanistan would not be used as a base for militant attacks on the United States or its allies.

"We call on the U.S. and Taliban to continue their negotiations for outcomes to let the seed of peace to take root in Afghanistan and create conditions for the final settlement of the Afghanistan issue", she said. Trump also made a decision to invite Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, whose government was not party to the talks.

Pompeo told Fox News on Sunday that the President personally intervened to halt talks but also said he was still keen to resolve the Afghan issue. That date was to be either November 2020, the same month of the US presidential election, or January 2021, he said.

The Taliban spokesman in Doha, Suhail Shaheen, said on Sunday that the insurgent group had already reached an accord with the United States, calling Trump's sudden announcement of the cancellation of the talks "surprising".

On Monday, Trump told reporters: "They're dead". Ashraf Ghani is seeking a second five-year term.

It was unclear whether the talks were cancelled indefinitely or only suspended for the time being.

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He said he hopes the insurgents "will recommit to the things that we've been talking to them about for months". Perhaps someone finally got him to see that hosting folks who still praise the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, just days before events marking that tragic date, wasn't exactly the wisest of moves.

A auto bombing Thursday killed one US soldier, which Trump said in a series of tweets Saturday night had led to his decision."President Trump said, 'Enough, '" Pompeo said on ABC's "This Week". The US president put a pause on the peace process, citing a recent Taliban-claimed attack in Kabul that killed an American and a Romanian soldier. "No member of the Taliban should set foot there".

Suhail Shaheen, a spokesperson for the Taliban's political office in Doha, said communication channels with the U.S. were still open and the militant group was still in touch with the American negotiators, reports Efe news.

In his interview to Fox News, Pompeo said that the U.S. and Taliban negotiators had been working for months for a peace and reconciliation deal.

He also said more than 1,000 Taliban fighters have been killed in Afghanistan in the past 10 days.

The US now has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan.

Pompeo downplayed chances of premature withdrawal.

"He's not going to repeat the mistakes we saw Barack Obama make".

"We're certainly not going to sit still and let them carry out some self-described race to victory".

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