The hashtag #TalibanTrump is trending on Twitter amid warnings from the Taliban Sunday that the U.S. would suffer more “losses” after President Trump announced he would cancel peace talks with the terrorist group at Camp David.
Trump revealed Sunday morning that he was planning to meet separately with the President of Afghanistan and Taliban leaders amid ongoing talks to withdraw U.S. troops from the country, which would mark the end of America’s longest war.
However, the president explained in a series of tweets that he abruptly canceled the meeting with the Taliban after learning that the terrorist group claimed responsibility for a deadly attack in Kabul that killed 12 people, including an American soldier.
“What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?” President Trump wrote. “They didn’t, they only made it worse! 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. How many more decades are they willing to fight?”
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid fired back threatening to take more lives.
“Both sides (U.S., Taliban) were busy with preparation for the announcement and signing the peace deal, but now the U.S president called off the peace dialogue… this will lead to more losses to the U.S.,” Mujahid said in a statement, according to Reuters.
“Losses to lives and assets will increase,” he said. “We will stay committed if the path of negotiation is chosen instead of fighting…we won’t be satisfied until there is an end to the foreign occupation of our country.”
U.S. diplomats have reportedly been negotiating an agreement for months to withdraw nearly 5,000 American troops from five bases over a five-month span, under the condition the Taliban adheres to a pledge to refrain from violence and safeguard Afghanistan from becoming a sanctuary for their decades-long ally, al-Qaeda, and other terrorists.
Negotiations with the Taliban are out of the question “for the time being,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News Sunday.
“They tried to use terror to improve their negotiating position, and I think anyone who’s observed President Trump knows – if in the course of a conversation, where we’re trying to improve both teams’ outcomes, if the other team commits an act that’s inconsistent, with that, President Trump’s not going to take that,” he said.
Trump’s supporters and detractors railed against the president for his initial plans to meet with the Taliban in the United States just days before the anniversary of 9/11, prompting the hashtag #TablibanTrump to trend on Twitter.
Others shot back against the criticism of Trump, calling attention to the five senior members of the Afghan Taliban who the Obama administration freed from Guantanamo Bay prison camp, where they were held for 13 years, in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in 2014.
Trump blasted Obama for the prisoner exchange in 2016.
“You look at these deals,” Trump said. “I always bring up Bergdahl. We get a traitor, they get five people that they’ve wanted for [years], and they’re back on the battlefield, trying to kill everybody, including us. And we get a dirty, rotten traitor.”
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