U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday he hopes the United States and the Taliban can resume talks in the future.
Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News that talks are dead “for the time being” after one U.S. soldier was killed in Afghanistan on Thursday.
“I hope we get them started back,” Pompeo said, referring to the talks, adding the Taliban “have got to demonstrate that they are prepared to do the things that we asked them to do in the course of those negotiations.”
The reconciliatory message came after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the plugs on the talks Saturday, citing the deadly attack. In a flurry of tweets, Trump said a secret meeting with Taliban leaders and the Afghan president scheduled for Sunday had been scrapped due to the attack.
The United States and the Taliban are reportedly close to a deal to end the over-18-year-old U.S. war in Afghanistan.
Both the Taliban militants and the Afghan government forces have intensified operations in the war-torn country recently.