By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - The U.S. will not sit down negotiate peace with the Taliban in war-torn Afghanistan, President Donald Trump said Monday in the wake of the extremist group's deadly attacks in Kabul.
"We don't want to talk with the Taliban. There may be a time, but it's going to be a long time," Trump said during a working lunch with the UN Security Council at the White House.
The Taliban claimed two major terrorist assaults in the Afghan capital this month.
A brazen suicide car bombing Saturday claimed more than 100 lives and left more than 200 wounded. The explosives were hidden in an improvised ambulance detonated outside the Ministry of Interior.
A week earlier, the militant group stormed the iconic Intercontinental Hotel, killing more than 20 local and foreign guests.
"When we see what they're doing and the atrocities that they're committing, and killing their own people, and those people are women and children -- many, many women and children that are totally innocent -- it is horrible," Trump said. "So there's no talking to the Taliban. We don't want to talk to the Taliban. We're going to finish what we have to finish. What nobody else has been able to finish, we're going to be able to do it."
The U.S. has been bogged down in Afghanistan since it invaded in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, making it Washington's longest war. The Taliban, which provided al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden safe-haven despite warnings from the U.S., has been beaten back, but has time and again regained territory, and struck deep into the heart of Afghanistan.
Trump announced last year a new strategy to combat the Taliban that focused on a ramp up of military activity against the group in tandem with pressure on Pakistan to clamp down on the Taliban within its borders.
The goal was to push the group to the negotiating table. But that may be further away than initially thought given Trump's remarks.