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US House committee subpoenas Trump’s Afghanistan envoy

WASHINGTON (AA): The House Committee on Foreign Affairs has subpoenaed President Donald Trump’s top diplomat charged with negotiating with the Taliban the terms of an Afghan peace plan.

Chairman Eliot Engel subpoenaed Zalmay Khalilzad on Thursday after the committee said the State Department repeatedly failed — in February, April and September — to respond to requests for briefings from the envoy on the plan.

“For months, we haven’t been able to get answers on the Afghanistan peace plan, and now the President is saying the plan is dead,” Engel said in a statement. “I’m fed up with this Administration keeping Congress and the American people in the dark on the peace process and how we’re going to bring this long war to a close.”

Trump declared an end to the talks on Monday following a planned sit-down with the Taliban at the presidential retreat at Camp David over the weekend that he called off after a Taliban attack in Kabul killed a dozen people, including a U.S. service member.

The talks were plotted in secret, and were only made public when Trump outed them on Saturday night by proclaiming that they were cancelled.

Khalilzad has briefed lawmakers only once, and then only before the Republican-controlled Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Engel set a deadline for Khalilzad to appear before the committee of next Thursday at 10 a.m.

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