9/9/2019 9:59:00 AM Pompeo: Taliban 'overreached' in attack that killed American
WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that Taliban “overreached” with their car bomb attack in a diplomatic area near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, killing an American soldier — and that led President Donald Trump to pull back from planned Afghanistan peace talks at Camp David.
Pompeo said it was now up to the Taliban to “change their behavior.” America’s top diplomat isn’t saying whether or when peace talks would resume.
He said he hopes the insurgents “will recommit to the things that we’ve been talking to them about for months.”
In the end, Pompeo said, “this will be resolved through a series of conversations. I hope the Taliban will agree to meet with the Afghan government.”
Trump tweeted on Saturday night that he had canceled a secret meeting, planned for Sunday at the presidential retreat in Maryland, with Taliban and Afghan leaders, and called off talks with the insurgent group. He cited the Thursday attack.
Pompeo, who was booked on five Sunday news shows, said the United States and the Taliban were close to a deal.
“And then the Taliban failed to live up to a series of commitments that they had made, and when that happened President Trump said, ‘I’m not going to take that deal. I’m not going to work with someone that can’t deliver on their commitments.”’
He said Trump “broke it off,” because he did not want to “reward that behavior,” referring to Thursday’s attack. The secretary of state said Trump “broke it off” because he did not want to “reward that behavior,” referring to Thursday’s attack.
Pompeo acknowledged that the attack was not the first during the period in which peace talks have been held. He also said the U.S. has been attacking the Taliban throughout this period.
Pompeo said more than 1,000 Taliban have been killed in battle over the past 10 days alone.