AFGHANISTAN. Kabul: The US-backed Afghan peace conference in Turkey has been postponed over non-participation by the Taliban. The UN-Led conference on Afghanistan was expected to be held on April 24, in Istanbul, with the participation of the UN, the US, other regional and international partners of Afghanistan, and Afghan warring parties.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry in a Tweet quoted its foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu “We have consulted with Qatar, the US and the UN. We have decided to postpone the Istanbul Conference on the #Afghanistan peace process after Eid al-Fitr.”
Taliban wants foreign troops out first
This comes after the Taliban spokesman Dr. Naeem Tweeted last Wednesday that the group will not attend any conference till a full foreign troops withdrawal from Afghanistan takes place.
“Until all foreign forces completely withdraw from our homeland, the Islamic Emirate will not participate in any conference that shall make decisions about Afghanistan,” Dr. Naeem said.
According to the Doha peace agreement which was signed between the US and the Taliban under Donald Trump’s administration called for foreign troops to exit by May 1. Meanwhile, Last week Joe Biden announced his exit plan will start by May 1 and will end by the twentieth anniversary of September 11, of the al-Qaeda attack in the United States.
Amid efforts to end the US longest war, Pakistan on Monday urged the Taliban to remain engaged in the Afghan peace process after the group said it would not attend conferences about Afghanistan until all foreign forces leave the country.
“They make their own decisions, but we will do whatever we can to convince them that it is in their national interest to remain engaged,” Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in an interview with Reuters in Abu Dhabi.