Turkey says Istanbul conference on Afghanistan postponed
The Istanbul conference on Afghanistan has been postponed until the end of the holy month of Ramadan, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said late on Tuesday, April 20.
The postponement comes after the US President announced last week that his administration would pull out all US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, this year.
The Taliban, however, said that the group would not take part in any conference on peace talks until all foreign troops completely withdraw from Afghanistan.
The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the Turkish foreign minister has consulted with Qatar, the United States, and United Nations and they have decided to postpone the Istanbul conference on the Afghan peace process after Eid al-Fitr.
The 10-day Istanbul conference of Afghanistan peace was tentatively scheduled to take place on April 20 and last for 10 days in the Turkish city of Istanbul. A high-level delegation from both Afghan sides—the Afghan government and the Taliban—were expected to attend the meeting and discuss a political settlement to end the nearly 20 years of bloodshed in Afghanistan.
The Istanbul conference on Afghanistan is part of an internationally initiated diplomatic effort to end the war in Afghanistan. The US and its NATO alliances push the Afghan government and the Taliban to reach to peaceful resort to end the conflict in the country.
“The conference would be meaningless without the Taliban joining. At the moment, we decided to postpone it since there is no clarity about the formation of the delegations and participation,” the Turkish foreign minister said as quoted by the Turkish newspaper, The Nation.
Following the Biden announcement on US departure from Afghanistan, the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, paid a surprise visit to the capital Kabul and met with the Afghan leaders. He said the US would continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghan security forces and the Afghan government.