Qatar has issued a joint statement with Turkey and the United Nations in light of recent developments with the Afghan peace process.
Qatar, alongside Turkey and the United Nations (UN), has issued a statement addressing recent news announcing the postponement of the Istanbul peace summit and developments in the Afghan peace process.
“Turkey, Qatar and the United Nations had planned to co-convene a high-level conference in Istanbul, from 24 April to 4 May 2021, 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,” read the statement, issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“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 favourable.”
“Turkey, Qatar and the United Nations will resolutely continue their earnest efforts to achieve peace in Afghanistan.”
The statement came hours after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the Istanbul peace conference was postponed until after Ramadan and Eid festivities.
The decision to postpone the 10-day summit, scheduled to take place from April 24th until May 4th, was made after consulting Qatar, the US and the UN – the main hosts of the conference, he said, without providing a date.
Meanwhile, the Taliban confirmed its refusal to attend any peace conferences that come before the US completely withdraws its forces from Afghanistan, as per the 2020 February agreement.
“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,” said Cavusoglu.
The US-backed conference in Istanbul initially aimed at establishing a roadmap to a future political settlement to end the decades long conflict in Afghanistan and bring both parties to a state of agreement.
The conference was also hoped to fast-track the Afghan peace process, which has been hosted by Qatar since parties from Kabul, the Taliban and the US first sat down at the table in Doha back in 2019.