- On September 7, Trump put an end to the year-long talks with the Taliban.
- On Tuesday, the Taliban claimed responsibility for two suicide attacks.
- Trump's administration had nevertheless shown signs of compromising on the earlier decision and resuming the talks.
The Taliban have said that they are ready to resume peace talks with the United States, ten days after President Trump declared the talks “dead” and in the aftermath of two bloody attacks in Afghanistan yesterday, which they claimed responsibility. “The doors are open for negotiations,” chief negotiator Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai said in an interview with the BBC. “We hope the other party will rethink its decision on the negotiations,” he added.
On September 7, Trump had, to everyone’s surprise, put an end to the year-long talks with the Taliban, which appeared to be on the verge of a landmark deal after 18 years of conflict in Afghanistan. Trump quit the talks after the Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack in the Afghan capital Kabul. The attack led to the death of an American soldier and eleven other people.
Trump’s administration had nevertheless shown signs of compromising on the earlier decision and resuming the talks. This became evident after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s pointed to a possibility of the resumption of the talks provided that the rebels did “change their attitude.” But President Trump had then appeared reluctant after he asserted that the talks were afterall “dead for good.”
On Tuesday, the Taliban claimed responsibility for two suicide attacks. One was in the Afghan capital, near an army recruiting center, the other near a campaign rally venue of Afghan president Ashraf Ghani, some 60 kilometers away. The two attacks resulted in the death of 48 people, and 80 others sustained serious injuries. Yesterday’s attack is the bloodiest one since the talks came to an abrupt end.
Asked about the violence by the BBC, Stanikzai said the “two sides” must end it. “Once the agreement is signed by both parties, then the ceasefire will come into operation,” he said. Many observers opine that there will be renewed Taliban violence during the election campaign for the September 28 presidential election.
The insurgents do not recognize the legitimacy of the Afghan authorities, and they implored Afghans in early August to boycott the polls, and to avoid gatherings “that could become potential targets.” The Taliban warned, “do not take part in the puppet administration’s election rallies, because all such gatherings are our military target,” the statement read. “If despite the warning, someone get hurt, they themselves are to blame.” It added.
“We had two ways to end the occupation of Afghanistan, the jihad and the fighting, and the talks and negotiations. If Trump wants to stop the talks, we will take the first path and they will regret it soon,” their spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid warned a week ago.