A much-anticipated Istanbul conference for the Afghan peace process has been postponed to a later date, and the efforts to achieve peace will continue, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
“In view of recent developments, and after extensive consultations with the parties, it has been agreed to postpone the conference to a later date when conditions for making meaningful progress would be more favorable,” the ministry said in a joint statement.
“Turkey, Qatar and the United Nations will resolutely continue their earnest efforts to achieve peace in Afghanistan,” it added.
It noted that Turkey, Qatar, and the UN had planned to co-convene a high-level conference in Istanbul on April 24-May 4, “with the participation of the representatives of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban to add momentum to the negotiations that started in Doha last September to achieve a just and lasting peace in Afghanistan.”
On Tuesday, Turkey had announced that it is postponing the Afghan peace conference in Istanbul until the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
“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 aim is not to initiate alternative talks to Doha but to contribute to the process,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Haberturk news channel.