President Donald Trump’s announcement that he had called off negotiations with the Taliban, apparently ending a year-long diplomatic push to exit America’s longest war, has left the withdrawal deal shrouded in uncertainty.
But in the streets of Kabul on Sunday, some residents expressed their satisfaction at Mr. Trump’s move.
“It is good that the talks have been cancelled, there should be intra-Afghan talks, and people should be involved in it, and they should be informed about it,” 52-year-old Mir Dil said.
If the Taliban “had accepted peace, they should have announced a ceasefire and then the talks should have moved forward,” he added.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s office cautiously saluted the “sincere efforts of its allies” after Mr. Trump tweeted that he had cancelled unprecedented — albeit separate — meetings with the Taliban and Ghani at Camp David.
“The Afghan government, in relation to the peace, appreciates the sincere efforts of its allies and is committed to working together with the United States and other allies to bring a lasting peace,” said a statement from President Ashraf Ghani's office.
The Presidency also “insisted that a real peace can only be achieved if the Taliban stop killing Afghans and accept a ceasefire, and face-to-face talks with the Afghan government”, according to the statement.
Mr. Trump’s announcement that he would “call off peace negotiations” appears to abruptly end, at least for now, a year-long diplomatic process led by veteran U.S. diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad, who held nine rounds of talks with the Taliban, mostly in Qatar.
Many Afghans had expressed deep unease throughout the talks.
“It was a good opportunity for (the Taliban) but it was wasted because they did not stop attacks,” 22-year-old Ahmad Jawed said.
Kabul resident Yama Safdari, 24, regretted that it took the death of one American to stop the process “while so many Afghan army forces and civilians are killed on a daily basis”.