Turkey likely to host intra-Afghan peace talks: Report

Turkey_Afghanistan

The US administration under President Joe Biden is set to ask Turkey to host a senior-level meeting for intra-Afghan peace talks between the Afghanistan government and Taliban leaders in the coming weeks.

According to a report by TOLO News, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has written a letter to Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani, urging the latter and his authoritative designates to join other representatives of the country during the meeting with the aim of finalizing a peace agreement with the Taliban.

As per the ‘leaked’ letter, the US Secretary of State has also stated that Washington is planning on convening a meeting of foreign ministers and diplomats from China, Russia, India, Pakistan, and the US to discuss a unified approach towards establishing peace in Afghanistan. At the same time, Blinken called on the Afghan government to ensure a more inclusive and credible approach to the negotiations with the Taliban group on issues like power-sharing and governance.

In the wake of Washington’s withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan by May 1, Bliken has warned the Ghani government of worsening security concerns in the coming weeks in the letter. Significantly, the White House is working on a plan to bring down violence in the next three months in order to prevent the Taliban from making territorial gains, the US Secretary of State added. During a ceremony on Saturday, Afghan President Ghani said that he is ready to make sacrifices to ensure lasting peace in the country, however, he added that the transfer of power through elections is a non-negotiable principle.

Earlier this month, Turkey and Afghanistan celebrated the 100th anniversary of their diplomatic ties. On several occasions, Turkey has announced its support for the peace process in Afghanistan. Last year, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had told the Chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, that he supports the efforts for peace in the country. He further vowed Turkey’s continuous cooperation with the people of Afghanistan. In late 2020, the Turkish Parliament approved a motion to increase the deployment of forces in Afghanistan for 18 months as part of NATO’s support mission.

“Turkey has been contributing to the security of Afghanistan and will keep its presence in the country as long as its Afghan brothers demand it,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

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