President Donald Trump has ruled out talks with the Taliban and vowed to “finish what we have to finish” in Afghanistan, following the wave of deadly terrorist attacks in recent days, killing over 130 people and wounding hundreds more.
“They’re killing people left and right,” Trump said at a meeting with UN Security Council members at the White House on Monday. “Innocent people are being killed left and right …. bombing, killing all over Afghanistan:’ So we don’t to talk with the Taliban.”
“So we don’t want to talk with the Taliban. There may be a time, but it’s going to be a long time,” Trump commented, declaring: “We’re going to finish what we have to finish. What nobody else has been able to finish, we’re going to be able to do if’
The total number of American troops in Afghanistan is expected to grow to about 15,000 in coming months, with some 4,000 of them sent to the war-torn country under President Trumps watch.
Prior to the recent wave of attacks, Washington had entertained hopes of a negotiated political settlement to the persisting Afghan crisis.
Several attempts in the past to hold peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban have failed. The most prominent effort was in 2013, when the Taliban opened an office in Qatar for the talks, but the Taliban’s move to hoist its flag derailed the negotiations.
At his luncheon meeting with representatives from the 15-member Security Council, including ambassadors to the US from China, France, Russia and Britain, Trump also discussed other security challenges, including the North Korean nuclear challenge.
“We will discuss our cooperation on a range of security challenges, including the denuking of North Korea, very importantly; countering [ran’s destabilization activities in the Middle East; ending the Syrian conflict; and confronting terrorism,”Trump said in remarks ahead of the meeting.