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Statement on Afghanistan

President Trump has said that he has canceled a secret meeting with the Taliban and the President of Afghanistan at Camp David that was set to take place on Sunday – and he has canceled peace talks. This decision to call off negotiations that could lead to a cessation of hostilities is rash and destroys progress made by our diplomats, moderated by our allies in Qatar. It also endangers our troops and makes it harder to one day withdraw the forces we still have in Afghanistan.

In one month, we will be marking the 18th anniversary of our involvement in that country. We must pull our troops out, but we must not forget the people we will be leaving behind – especially the women and girls who would suffer so much if a weakened Afghan government were overrun by radical islamist forces. In 2017, I brought over an Afghan all-girl Muslim team to the first global robotics olympics in Washington, D.C., despite President Trump’s Muslim visa ban. What will happen to those girls if we do not reach peace in Afghanistan?