Taliban says US lives will be lost because of Trump's decision to cancel meeting

The Taliban on Sunday claimed that the U.S. would suffer more "losses" because of President TrumpDonald John TrumpCampaigns face attack ad dilemma amid coronavirus crisis Outgoing inspector general says Trump fired him for carrying out his 'legal obligations' Trump hits Illinois governor after criticism: 'I hear him complaining all the time' MORE's abrupt decision to cancel peace talks at Camp David with the insurgent group. 

“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.,” Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said in a statement, according to Reuters

The statement was released just hours after Trump disclosed that he was planning to separately meet with Taliban leadership and the president of Afghanistan this weekend amid ongoing peace talks. 


Trump stated that he canceled the meeting after learning that the Taliban had claimed responsibility for a deadly attack in Kabul that killed one American soldier and 11 others. 

"What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?" Trump asked in a series of tweets. "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?" 

Mujahid went on to assert that Trump's decision would impact U.S. "credibility," adding that its "anti-peace stance will be exposed to the world."

"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."

The Trump administration and the Taliban had been engaged in talks for months as part of an effort to find an agreement that would lead to the withdrawal of thousands of troops from Afghanistan. The Taliban would reportedly offer security guarantees in response. 


Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump administration eyes Afghan security forces funding for aid cut: report Trump says 40,000 Americans have been repatriated who were stranded abroad US should adopt a Marshall Plan for Ethiopia MORE said on "Fox News Sunday" that negotiations with the Taliban are dead "for the time being." 

"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.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, meanwhile, has urged the Taliban to communicate with his government, saying in a statement that "real peace will come when Taliban agree to a ceasefire," Reuters noted.