Ready to host Afghan peace talks: Turkey

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Ankara, (Asian independent) Turkey is ready to host an Afghan peace conference, which aims to seal a peace deal between the Kabul government and the Taliban, in Istanbul next month, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

“Both the Taliban and the negotiation delegation, meaning the government side, had asked us to host such a meeting before,” Cavusoglu told semi-official Anadolu Agency on Friday.

“We will do this (meeting) in coordination with brotherly Qatar,” he said.

Cavusoglu emphasising that the meeting will not be an alternative to the process carried out by Doha, but a supporting one, reports Xinhua news agency.

Ankara would appoint a special envoy to the peace process in a bid to contribute to the talks, the Minister added.

In a letter to Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has proposed a UN-led peace conference in Turkey “to discuss a unified approach to supporting peace in Afghanistan”.

On March 18, another meeting will take place in Moscow on the Afghan peace process.

The US and the Taliban signed an agreement in February 2020, which called for a full withdrawal of American military forces from the conflict-ridden country by May 2021 if the militant group meets the conditions of the deal, including severing ties with other terrorist organisations.

But administration of President Joe Biden had noted that the Taliban had not met its commitment under the US-Taliban deal.

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