Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday, Sept. 8, that the Taliban “overreached” with its car bomb attack in a diplomatic area near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, killing an American soldier. He asserted the bombing led President Donald Trump to pull back from planned Afghanistan peace talks at Camp David.
Pompeo said it was now up to the Taliban to “change their behavior.” America’s top diplomat said he hopes the insurgents “will recommit to the things that we’ve been talking to them about for months.”
In the end, Pompeo said, “This will be resolved through a series of conversations. I hope the Taliban will agree to meet with the Afghan government.”
President Trump tweeted on Saturday that he had canceled a secret meeting, planned for Sunday at the presidential retreat in Maryland, with Taliban and Afghan leaders, and called off talks with the insurgent group.
Pompeo disclosed the United States and the Taliban were close to a deal, saying, “And then the Taliban failed to live up to a series of commitments that they had made, and when that happened President Trump said, ‘I’m not going to take that deal. I’m not going to work with someone that can’t deliver on their commitments.’”
The secretary of state said Trump “broke it off” because he did not want to “reward that behavior,” referring to Thursday’s attack.
After President Trump announced the cancellation of a meeting with the insurgent group, Afghanistan’s government called on the Taliban to stop violence in the nation and open negotiations.
“Real peace will come when Taliban agree to a cease-fire,” said a statement from officials working for President Ashraf Ghani regarding the canceled negotiations, Reuters reported on Sunday.
On Thursday, a car bomb exploded and killed an American soldier, a Romanian service member, and 10 civilians in a busy diplomatic area near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. This bombing was one of the many Taliban attacks in recent days during the U.S.-Taliban talks.
Includes reporting from the Associated Press