Trump Says He Secretly Invited Taliban Leaders, Afghanistan President To U.S.
Sept. 08, 2019
President Donald Trump revealed Saturday that he secretly invited Taliban leaders and the Afghanistan president to meet with him in the U.S., but called the meeting off before they were scheduled to land on Saturday.
In a series of tweets, Trump said he was forced to cancel the meeting, which would’ve taken place Sunday at Camp David in Maryland, after “they” admitted to a deadly attack in the Afghan capital of Kabul.
The president said that peace negotiations with the Taliban, which have been going on for months, were officially off the table.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for a car bombing in Kabul that killed 12 people, including a U.S. soldier, on Thursday.
In his tweet, Trump said they admitted to the attack to “in order to build false leverage” in their negotiations.
“I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations,” the president said “What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?”
President Ghani was scheduled to meet with Trump early next week but reportedly postponed the trip, according to the Associated Press . The Taliban leaders were scheduled to land in the U.S. tonight, Trump said.
Before the Kabul bombing, U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad announced that the U.S. had reached an agreement with the Taliban “on principle.” Khalilzad reportedly rushed back to Qatar, where his negotiations with the Taliban had taken place, after the attack.
In 2012, Trump called the Taliban a “sworn enemy” of the U.S. and criticized President Barack Obama for attempting to negotiate an end to the Afghanistan war.