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Trump Says He Called Off Secret Talks At Camp David With Taliban, Afghan Leaders


President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room on Sept. 4, 2019. The president says he has called off talks at Camp David between the Taliban and Afghan leaders.

President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room on Sept. 4, 2019. The president says he has called off talks at Camp David between the Taliban and Afghan leaders.

Getty Images, Chip Somodevilla

President Trump says Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and major Taliban leaders were set to meet with him at Camp David on Sunday, but he canceled the negotiations after learning about a Taliban attack.

In a series of tweets on Saturday, the president said the Camp David talks were supposed to be a secret.

“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,” the president wrote.

Before the meeting could take place, Trump said, the Taliban admitted to a Kabul attack that killed 12 people, including an American soldier.

“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,” Trump tweeted.

The White House and the State Department both declined to offer any further details about Trump’s statement.

Until now, it had appeared that the U.S. was nearing a deal with the Taliban that would bring home some, if not all, of the 14,000 U.S. troops still stationed in Afghanistan.

The U.S. and the Taliban have held multiple rounds of talks this year in the Gulf nation of Qatar.

Trump has argued repeatedly that it’s time to end the war that has dragged on for nearly two decades.

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