Afghan gov’t says US, Taliban won’t keep talking

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President Donald Trump looks at his notes during a briefing on Hurricane Dorian in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Afghan government says it doesn’t believe talks between the United States and Taliban will continue “at this stage” after President Donald Trump abruptly called them off.

Afghan presidential spokesman Sediq Seddqi spoke to reporters hours after Trump in a series of tweets announced that he had canceled a secret meeting set for Sunday at Camp David with Taliban and Afghan leaders.

The surprise announcement came after a U.S.-Taliban deal that a U.S. envoy said had been reached “in principle” on ending America’s longest war faced growing criticism in Afghanistan and Washington.

The Afghan government has been sidelined in the talks, and the presidential spokesman is calling for an Afghan-led peace process in which the Taliban and government speak directly and there is a ceasefire.

Seddiqi would not say whether Trump’s abrupt decision has hurt peace efforts going forward.

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