Donald Trump
Donald Trump Reuters

US President Donald Trump announced on Saturday he had called off a secret summit with the Taliban and Afghanistan's leader, AFP reports.

Trump revealed on Twitter that he had planned previously unknown talks with the two sides on Sunday in Camp David, but the Taliban's violence made them untrustworthy partners.

"Unbeknownst to almost everyone, the major Taliban leaders and, separately, the President of Afghanistan, were going to secretly meet with me at Camp David on Sunday," he tweeted.

"Unfortunately, in order to build false leverage, they admitted to an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers, and 11 other people. I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations," he added.

"What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position? They didn't, they only made it worse!" Trump wrote.

The announcement came two days after a US soldier and another service member from Romania were killed in a car bombing in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.

Trump’s announcement ended the diplomatic process led for nearly a year by Zalmay Khalilzad, the Afghan-born veteran US diplomat who has been meeting with the Taliban in Qatar.

Afghanistan's internationally recognized president, Ashraf Ghani, had been outspoken in his criticism of the shape of the withdrawal agreement with the Taliban, who have refused to negotiate with his government.

According to parts of the draft deal that had been made public, the Pentagon would pull about 5,000 of the roughly 13,000 US troops from five bases across Afghanistan by early next year.

The insurgents in turn will renounce Al-Qaeda, promise to fight the Islamic State (ISIS) group and stop jihadists using Afghanistan as a safe haven.

In 2017, Trump stressed that he intended to employ a “fight to win” strategy which would include ratcheting up the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

In response, the Taliban threatened that "If America doesn´t withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, soon Afghanistan will become another graveyard for this superpower in the 21st century."

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