President Donald Trump said Monday that talks with the Taliban about peace with Afghanistan were over, citing the terrorist attack last week in Kabul.
“They’re dead as far as I’m concerned,” Trump said when asked about the proposed talks with Taliban leaders.
Trump spoke to reporters as he left the White House, after he canceled a meeting scheduled with the Taliban at Camp David for Sunday.
The president called the Taliban attacks “a big mistake.”
He said that the United States had escalated attacks against the Taliban in response to the terrorist attack that killed 12 people as well as one U.S. soldier and one Romanian solder in Kabul.
“We’ve hit the Taliban harder in the last four days than they’ve been hit in over ten years,” he said.
Trump said that meeting with Taliban leaders was his idea and that it was his idea to terminate the meeting after learning about them claiming responsibility for the attacks.
He defended the proposed talks, noting that even “bad” people met with presidents at Camp David in times of war.
“I’ve met with a lot of bad people and a lot of good people during the course of the last almost three years,” he said.
He expressed frustration with the ongoing engagement in Afghanistan, suggesting that it was up to the Afghan government to take control of their country.
“We’ve been policemen there for a long time, and the government’s going to have to take responsibility,” Trump said.
He reminded reporters of his campaign promise to end the war in Afghanistan, despite the recent escalation.
“We’d like to get out, but we’ll get out at the right time,” he said.