The Taliban Shoots Back at Donald Trump

A translation of spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid’s warning for the United States.

Smoke rises from the site of an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sept. 3.
Smoke rises from the site of an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sept. 3. Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images.

On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump declared peace talks with the Taliban dead after an attack over the weekend left 12 people, including an American soldier, dead. Earlier on Sunday, he had rescinded an invitation to the Taliban to meet at Camp David. On Twitter, Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s spokesman, shot back, warning the United States of more harm to come.

The full translation of his statement is below.

We held fruitful and productive negotiations with the U.S. negotiation team, and an agreement was finalized. The U.S. negotiating team was satisfied about the progress made so far until yesterday, and we ended the talks in a good atmosphere. Both sides were prepared for announcing the agreement and for signing it.

An intra-Afghan meeting and dialogue would have been scheduled for Sept. 23 after the announcement of the signing of the deal.

Regional and international countries and organizations had also shown their support for this process.

Now that U.S. President Trump has announced the suspension of negotiations with the Islamic Emirate, this would not harm anyone else but the Americans themselves. This will further affect their credibility and expose their anti-peace stance to the world in a more clear way. Losses to lives and assets will increase, and America’s activities when it comes to political interactions will be compromised [by this decision].

By continuing the dialogue, the Islamic Emirate has proved to the world that war has been imposed on us by others, and if the path of dialogue and understanding is to be given precedence over war, we are ultimately committed.

Such a reaction toward a single attack just before the signing of an agreement displays lack of patience and experience. This happens while attacks by the United States and its Afghan allies have martyred hundreds of Afghans and destroyed their assets.

Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad extended an invitation to us to visit the United States and President Trump at the end of August, and we had to put it off until signing of the agreement in Doha.

The Islamic Emirate has a solid and unwavering policy. We called for dialogue 20 years ago and maintain the same stance today, and we believe the United States shall return to this position as well.

Our previous 18-year resistance should have proved to the United States that we would accept nothing but a complete end to the foreign occupation of our country and that Afghans are given a chance to live by their own choice. We will continue our jihad for this great cause and maintain our strong belief in ultimate victory, God willing.

These remarks were translated from Mujahid’s Twitter announcement.