President Donald Trump revealed on Saturday that he had a secret meeting planned with leaders of the Taliban to try to bring peace to the country, and that he canceled at the last minute when he learned that they were responsible for an attack that killed an American soldier.
"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," Trump tweeted. "They were coming to the United States tonight. Unfortunately, in order to build false leverage, they admitted to an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers, and 11 other people. I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations. What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?"
"They didn’t, they only made it worse! 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 continued. "How many more decades are they willing to fight?"
"The Pentagon announced Friday that Sgt. 1st Class Elis Angel Barreto Ortiz was killed in Afghanistan," CNN reported. "Barreto, a 34-year-old paratrooper from Morovis, Puerto Rico, died when a car bomb exploded at a checkpoint near NATO headquarters and the US embassy in Kabul. Barreto is the 16th US service member to be killed in Afghanistan in 2019, and three other American service members have been killed in recent weeks."
The move by Trump to meet with the Taliban was stunning considering the fact that they have killed thousands of American soldiers since the United States invaded the nation one month after the deadly September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed thousands of Americans.
"The move also appears to scuttle — for now — Mr. Trump’s longstanding hope to deliver on a campaign promise to withdraw American troops from an 18-year conflict that he has called an aimless boondoggle," The New York Times reported. "It comes amid stubborn resistance within Afghanistan’s government about the emerging agreement, not only for security reasons but because Mr. Ghani has been determined to preserve an election planned for Sept. 28, which he is favored to win. The Taliban have insisted on postponing the election."