US President Donald Trump speaks to media in Washington. File photo
US President Donald Trump on Saturday said he canceled peace talks with Afghanistan's Taliban leaders after the insurgent group claimed responsibility last week for an attack in Kabul that killed an American soldier and 11 other people.
Trump said he had planned a secret meeting with the Taliban's "major leaders" on Sunday at a presidential compound in Camp David, Maryland. Trump said he also planned to meet with Afghanistan's president.
But Trump said he immediately called the talks off when the insurgents said they were behind the attack.
"If they cannot agree to a ceasefire during these very important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don't have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway," Trump said on Twitter.
The surprise announcement left in doubt the future of the draft accord worked out last week by Zalmay Khalilzad, the special US envoy for peace in Afghanistan, for a drawdown of thousands of US troops over the coming months.
There was no immediate reaction from the Taliban but the decision appeared to catch them by surprise.
Just hours before Trump's tweet, a senior Taliban leader privy to talks in Doha with US officials including Khalilzad and Taliban chief negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, said an agreement to sign the deal appeared close.
Taliban fighters, who now control more territory than at any time since 2001, launched fresh assaults on the northern cities of Kunduz and Pul-e Khumri over the past week and carried out two major suicide bombings in the capital Kabul.
One of the blasts, a suicide attack in Kabul on Thursday, took the life of US Army Sergeant 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, 34, from Puerto Rico, bringing the number of American troops killed in Afghanistan this year to 16.
A spike in attacks by Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan has been "particularly unhelpful" to peace efforts there, a senior US military commander said on Saturday as he visited neighboring Pakistan, where many Taliban militants are based.
US Marine General Kenneth McKenzie, who oversees American troops in the region, declined to comment on the diplomatic negotiations themselves but criticised a wave of Taliban violence that has cast a long shadow over the deal.
It was not immediately clear whether the US-Taliban talks will resume and when on ending nearly 18 years of fighting.
The operations, launched on Saturday night, were aimed at foiling attacks planned by the Taliban on Afghan forces, said a senior security official in capital Kabul.
Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai also defended the Taliban's role in recent bloodshed across the country after US President Donald Trump cited an attack that killed an American soldier as his reason for calling off negotiations earlier this month.
The UAE government affirmed that the UAE citizens have priority in being appointed to any of the vacant jobs in the federal authorities, adding that non-nationals can be appointed in case the citizen does not meet the conditions and requirements of the job.
The Iranian Jamaran news website identified the boy as 9-year-old Morteza Delf Zaregani. They spoke to the father who accused the police of not issuing any warning before shooting.
The UAE Government stated that a resident can obtain a residence visa for his wife and children, after submitting the marriage contract which must be certified in Arabic or translated into Arabic by a sworn and certified translator.