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June 13, 2021
President Trump, who made comments to reporters as he left the White House for an appearance in North Carolina on Monday, declared that peace negotiations between the United States and the Taliban “are dead” Monday. According to the Wall Street Journal, the President warned that he could do “certain things” that could “cost millions of lives in a move to end the war, a step he said he does not want to take.” ~
These comments come amid more than a year of peace talks between the White House and the Taliban, including months of recent negotiations in which the U.S. has offered to pull out an estimated 20,000, or over 50%, of their international troops in Afghanistan in exchange for the Taliban’s pledge not to permit any other Islamic extremist groups from settling in the region, the New York Times reports. But according to Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. envoy to Afghanistan who stated last week that the two parties were on the verge of an agreement, the negotiations appeared to be in jeopardy Monday due to a scheduled meeting at Camp David being called off by the President. The meeting – which was originally scheduled for Saturday between President Trump and “leaders of the Taliban and the Afghan government” – was reportedly called off after an American soldier was killed by a car bob last week by the Taliban. ~
Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, made contradicting statements in a televised interview Sunday to that of President Trump. According to Fox News, Pompeo said that he hopes that negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban can continue. “I hope we get them started back,” he said on Fox News. “It will ultimately be up to the Taliban.” It remains unclear whether the President will reverse his claims of dead peace talks. According to the Wall Street Journal, President Trump last year “called off a planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un weeks before the meeting, and threatened to take military action if necessary,” but soon “reversed course, and the summit was held as scheduled.” ~
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