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Taliban vow to 'fight for 100 years' after Trump calls off Camp David talks

09 Sep 2019 Daily Mail Online

The Taliban have vowed to keep fighting in Afghanistan 'for 100 years' after Donald Trump dramatically cancelled peace talks with the extremist militants. 

Taliban leaders claimed they had already rejected Trump's overtures and vowed that 'we will continue our jihad' nearly 18 years after they were forced from power.   

Trump's Twitter announcement came at a sensitive time, with a string of significant days this week including the 9/11 anniversary, and an Afghan presidential election later this month.   

Afghans are now bracing for a possible new wave of Taliban violence as the insurgents vow to battle against the so-called 'foreign occupation' and warned that 'more Americans will die'.  

The Taliban have vowed to keep fighting in Afghanistan 'for 100 years' after Donald Trump (pictured) dramatically cancelled peace talks with the extremist militants

The Taliban delegation arrives for talks in Moscow earlier this year. Talks have now been suspended after Trump's announcement and it is unclear when they will resume

The U.S. President announced out of the blue on Saturday that he had secretly invited Taliban leaders and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani for talks at Camp David this weekend. 

But he said he had cancelled the talks and the wider peace negotiations after the Taliban claimed an attack in Kabul which killed a U.S. soldier. 

'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 said. 

'How many more decades are they willing to fight?'

As if in answer to Trump's question, a Taliban source told The Times: 'We will fight. We have fought for 18 years and we will fight for a hundred years. We will continue our jihad. They will have to pay a price. 

'We were invited to Camp David but refused to go

'The U.S. wanted us to announce a nationwide ceasefire, but again we refused. It is not possible for us.' 

Trump revealed he called off a secret Sunday meeting with the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (pictured left and right) and a separate one with the Taliban leaders

The President said he has 'called off peace negotiations' after they admitted to the Kabul attack in order to build 'false leverage'

Trump has pledged to withdraw the remaining 13,000 to 14,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan and end U.S. involvement in the conflict.

A Trump envoy has been negotiating with Taliban leaders for months in Qatar but it is now unclear when or whether peace talks will resume. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, had been recalled. 

Saying the Taliban had 'overreached' with their car bomb attack, which killed Sergeant First Class Elis Barreto Ortiz, Pompeo said it was now up to the Taliban to 'change their behaviour'. 

More than 1,000 Taliban fighters have been killed in Afghanistan in the last 10 days, Pompeo said. 

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, slammed Trump and said U.S. forces have been pounding Afghanistan with attacks at the same time.

'This will lead to more losses to the US,' he said.  

A Taliban suicide blast in the center of Kabul on Thursday killed a US soldier, a Romanian service member and at least 10 civilians near the American embassy 

Afghans are now bracing for a possible new wave of Taliban violence as the insurgents vow to battle against the so-called 'foreign occupation'

'Its credibility will be affected, its anti-peace stance will be exposed to the world, losses to lives and assets will increase.' 

But the Taliban still believed 'that the American side will come back to this position' of talks that seek 'the complete end of the occupation,' he said. 

As violence has escalated, Afghan leaders including President Ashraf Ghani have been increasingly critical of the deal and encouraged the Taliban to enter direct talks. 

A potential deal would see the U.S. withdraw its troops after nearly 18 years in the country, igniting concerns among some Afghans who fear the Taliban will recover some of their power. 

In return, the Taliban would guarantee the country would never again become a safe haven for violent extremist groups, as happened with Al-Qaeda before the September 11, 2001 attacks.  

The U.S. invaded Afghanistan and removed the Taliban from power shortly after 9/11. 

The Taliban, who had violently seized power in 1996, so far has refused to talk with the Afghan government, calling it a U.S. puppet. 

Trump said he had invited the Taliban for talks at Camp David (pictured), the historic presidential retreat near Thurmont, Maryland

The Afghan presidency yesterday insisted that 'a real peace can only be achieved if the Taliban stop killing Afghans and accept a ceasefire, and face-to-face talks with the Afghan government.'  

Afghanistan is entering a string of highly sensitive days, with the anniversary of an anti-Taliban commander's death today, a Muslim holy day tomorrow and the anniversary of 9/11 on Wednesday. 

It also comes weeks before Afghanistan holds presidential elections, raising fears that the Taliban will step up their campaign of violence to disrupt voting. 

Trump faced criticism at home for offering to host the Taliban despite its attacks on Americans and sheltering of Osama bin Laden.  

'Camp David is where America's leaders met to plan our response after al Qaeda, supported by the Taliban, killed 3000 Americans on 9/11,' said U.S. congresswoman Liz Cheney, a Republican whose father, Dick Cheney, was U.S. Vice President at the time of the attacks, wrote on Twitter on Sunday. 

'No member of the Taliban should set foot there. Ever.'  

Afghanistan's neighbor Iran - which historically has opposed the Taliban and has tense relations with the United States - said it was 'gravely concerned.' 

Original Link: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7442663/Taliban-vow-fight-100-years-Trump-calls-Camp-David-talks.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490

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