Turkey, Qatar, and the UN have agreed to postpone the Istanbul Conference for the Afghanistan peace process, a joint statement issued today has revealed. The high-level conference hosted by Turkey in Istanbul was scheduled to last from 24 April to 4 May.
Representatives from Qatar, the UN, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and the Taliban were due to attend. According to a senior Afghan government official, as reported by Reuters, the conference is not going ahead on the given date because the Taliban refused to attend.
"The conference would be meaningless without the Taliban joining," said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu yesterday. "At the moment, we have decided to postpone it since there is no clarity about the formation of the delegations and participation."
Peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government started in the Qatari capital Doha last September but ended "abruptly" in January. They resumed in February.
"The aim is not to initiate alternative talks to Doha but to contribute to the process," added Cavusoglu.