Pompeo: Taliban talks are dead 'for the time being'

Pompeo: Taliban talks are dead 'for the time being'
© Aaron Schwartz

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoIran lays foundation for second nuclear plant: report Pompeo knocks Iran's treatment of UN nuclear inspector Reagan statue unveiled near site where he called for Gorbachev to 'tear down' Berlin Wall MORE said Sunday that peace talks with the Taliban are dead "for the time being," after President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE announced that he had cancelled talks with the insurgent group and Afghan government

Asked by "Fox News Sunday" host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceRepublicans, Democrats brace for first public testimony in impeachment inquiry Intelligence panel Democrat: 'I think we will end up calling' some witnesses on GOP list Intelligence panel Republican: 'How we treat this whistleblower will impact whistleblowers in the future' MORE whether the talks were "dead," Pompeo replied, "For the time being they are."

"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, referring to an attack claimed by the Taliban that killed a U.S. soldier and 11 others. 

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"We're looking for more than words on paper, we're looking for real delivered commitment and the Taliban demonstrated either that they weren't willing to or couldn't live up to the commitment they needed to make to reduce violence there," he added. 

Wallace then asked if the talks were off "indefinitely."

"I hope we get them started back," Pompeo said. "It will ultimately be up to the Taliban. They have got to demonstrate that they're prepared to do the things that we ask them to do in the course of those negotiations."

The secretary of State also said on CBS's "Face the Nation" that "applying military pressure to the Taliban is necessary" for the negotiations.

"We've killed over 1,000 Taliban in just the last 10 days, so it has not been the case that we've been negotiating with our hands tied behind our back."

Trump tweeted late Saturday that he canceled a secret meeting with leaders of the Taliban and Afghanistan's president at Camp David.

“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. They were coming to the United States tonight," Trump wrote. 

"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?"

A draft accord had reportedly been reached that included the withdrawal of 5,000 U.S. troops

--This report was updated at 11:11 a.m.

Read more from The Hill:

Pompeo defends Trump's invitation of Taliban to Camp David