U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that talks with Afghanistan’s Taliban leaders are off and that he was still considering a U.S. troop drawdown in the country.
“As far as I’m concerned, they’re dead,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House for North Carolina.
Months of U.S. negotiations with the Taliban militants, who control large parts of Afghanistan, ended on Saturday when Trump abruptly announced he was canceling secret talks at Camp David with the Taliban and the Afghan president. The talks were aimed at securing a peace deal to end nearly 20 years of war.
Trump said he knew the talks could not continue after the Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack last week that killed an American soldier in the capital Kabul. Fighting has continued in the region as the talks to end the war took place.
Bringing U.S. troops home from Afghanistan has been one of Trump’s main foreign policy objectives, and the Republican president said his administration was still thinking about a drawdown of the 14,000 U.S. soldiers in the country.
“We’d like to get out but we’ll get out at the right time,” he said.