President Donald Trump announced that he canceled a meeting with the Taliban the same week as the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
Trump said that the reason he canceled the visit by the terrorist group to Camp David was because a recent attack killed a U.S. Secret Service member along with several others in Afghanistan.
According to The New York Times, however, the Taliban is telling a different story, saying that they believed the trip was a “trick” to get them to commit “political suicide.”
“We promised there would be intra-Afghan talks once we finalized our agreement with the Americans,” a senior Taliban leader told The Times. “If Trump and his administration think they would solve the confrontation between the government and the Taliban somewhere in Washington in a meeting, that’s not possible because we do not recognize the stooge government.”
Trump had planned to fly leaders of the Taliban along with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani to Camp David this week for peace talks and then for a “grand announcement” after the deal is reached. It’s remarkably similar to the North Korea signing ceremony the White House announced but was forced to cancel after the president failed to negotiate a deal.
Trump tried to claim that the meeting cancelation was about the Taliban’s resistance to signing a peace deal. The deal would have withdrawn 5,000 troops from the five bases in Afghanistan over 5 months.
Trump criticized former President Barack Obama for his government’s willingness to meet with Taliban leaders for a similar plan.
While @BarackObama is slashing the military, he is also negotiating with our sworn enemy the Taliban–who facilitated 9/11.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2012