Istanbul meeting on Afghan peace postponed

TEHRAN, Apr. 21 (MNA) – Ankara announced on Tuesday that the Afghan peace conference in Istanbul will be held after the holy month of Ramadan.

"We thought that it would be beneficial to postpone it ...We consulted Qatar, the US and the UN and decided to hold it after Ramadan and Eid festivities," Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the Haberturk news channel, adding there is "no need to hurry" after the recent decision by the US to withdraw its troops, Anadolu reported.

The conference was originally scheduled to be held from April 24 to May 4.

Ankara’s announcement came as Taliban said that the group is not willing to take part in the conference. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said as long as foreign forces are present in Afghanistan, the group will not attend any meeting, including the Istanbul meeting.

Some countries want to interfere in Afghanistan's internal affairs through the Istanbul conference, he said, adding that it is the right of the Afghan people to determine the future of their country alone.

"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. Hosting the meeting together in Istanbul will be Turkey, Qatar and the UN," Cavusoglu said.


News Code 172366


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