On Monday, United States President Donald Trump said that peace negotiations with the Taliban were “dead” and though he was still looking at a drawdown of American troops in Afghanistan, he would order it only “at the right time”.
“They’re dead. As far as I’m concerned, they’re dead,” Trump told reporters, adding that the Taliban “thought that they had to kill people in order to put themselves in a little better negotiating position.”
The Taliban responded with equal belligerence that signalled a likely escalation in violence. “We had two ways to end the occupation in Afghanistan, one was jihad and fighting, the other was talks and negotiations,”
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement. “If Trump wants to stop talks, we will take the first way and they will soon regret it.”