Afghanistan: Trump rejects possibility of negotiations with Taliban

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BISHKEK (TCA) — U.S. President Donald Trump has rejected the possibility of negotiations with the Taliban anytime soon following a series of deadly attacks in Afghanistan, RFE/RL reported.

“We don’t want to talk with the Taliban,” Trump said at a January 29 luncheon at the White House with representatives of the UN Security Council. “There may be a time, but it’s going to be a long time.”

Kabul in recent weeks has been hit by several deadly assaults, including a massive suicide car bombing in a crowded central area on January 27 that killed more than 100 people and was claimed by the Taliban.

At least 235 other people were wounded in the attack, including more than 30 police officers.

Following that attack, Trump called for “decisive action” by all countries against the Taliban, saying in a statement that the “murderous attack renews our resolve and that of our Afghan partners.”

Speaking on January 29, Trump said: “We’re going to finish what we have to finish” in Afghanistan.

He added that “innocent people are being killed left and right,” including children, and that “there’s no talking to the Taliban.”

Several Americans were killed and injured earlier this month in the 13-hour siege of a Kabul hotel claimed by the Taliban.

In his first public appearance since the Intercontinental Hotel attack in Kabul just over a week ago, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said the Taliban must “choose between Islam and terrorism, between humanity and barbarism,” TOLOnews reported on January 29.

Ghani was speaking at a news conference a day after Afghans observed a day of national mourning following Saturday’s deadly ambulance bombing that killed at least 103 people.

Ghani said if the Taliban really believes in Islam and humanity, then the group must separate itself from barbarism and puppets of religious manipulators and intelligence agencies.

“Those who consider themselves Muslims and Afghans must now separate themselves, in words and actions, from those barbaric puppets of religious manipulators and intelligence agencies,” he said, adding that today Afghans are at a crossroads in the country’s history and must take decisive and clear steps to bring lasting stability to the country.

“We can no longer wait for peace to come to us, we must win it through collective national resolve,” he said.

Sergey Kwan

TCA