President Trump announced on Twitter Saturday he was calling off a “secret” meeting between himself, the Afghan president and Taliban leaders that may have led to the withdrawal of thousands of U.S. troops from Afghanistan — although reports raise questions about the meeting’s details and who exactly was to take part. Trump said his decision was due to a Taliban car bomb last Thursday that killed 12 people, including a U.S. soldier, in Kabul. Trump also said all further negotiations were being called off.
The U.S. and Taliban had appeared close to an agreement after holding nine rounds of talks in Doha, even though the Afghan government had not taken part in those meetings. The New York Times reports Trump wanted the deal to be announced at the Camp David meeting so he would be perceived as the dealmaker who pulled the peace deal together. But according to the Times, Taliban negotiators had agreed to come to the United States only after a deal was announced and only to meet with the American side. There are also questions about why Trump canceled the secret meeting. We’ll have more on this story after headlines.