US President Donald Trump said he has called off a secret summit with the Taliban and Afghanistan’s leader, abruptly slamming the door on a year of diplomacy to end America’s longest war.
Mr Trump tweeted he had been set to meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and senior Taliban leaders on Sunday.
But he cancelled the meeting at his Camp David retreat after the Taliban admitted it carried out a recent attack in Kabul that killed a US soldier.
“Unfortunately, in order to build false leverage, [the Taliban] admitted to an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers,” the president tweeted.
“I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations.” he added
US negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad had announced a peace deal “in principle” with the Taliban on Monday.
This comes after nine rounds of talks between the US and Taliban representatives, held in Doha, the capital of the Gulf state of Qatar.
Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani had been outspoken in his criticism of the shape of the withdrawal agreement with the Taliban, who have refused to negotiate with his government.
As part of the proposed deal, the US would withdraw 5,400 troops from Afghanistan within 20 weeks. The US currently has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan