Turkey-Hosted Afghan Peace Confab On Hold After Taliban Balks
An international peace conference on Afghanistan scheduled to start later this week in Istanbul has been postponed until after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the Haberturk news channel on Tuesday that the postponement by host country Turkey was undertaken in consultation with Qatar, the United States and the United Nations.
In addition to avoiding Ramadan, the conference was postponed because the Taliban refused to attend. The Taliban has said it will not attend any Afghan peace conference until all foreign forces have pulled out of 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,” Cavusoglu said.
The Taliban and the United States under the Trump administration agreed last year that all US troops and other foreign forces would leave Afghanistan by Mat 1. President Joe Biden announced last week that the remaining about 2,500 US troops would leave in stages by the symbolic date of September 11.