UN, Turkey & Qatar to co-convene high level conference between Afghan, Taliban; India invited

Yoshita Singh
·2-min read

United Nations, Apr 13 (PTI) The United Nations, Turkey and Qatar are co-convening a high level and 'inclusive conference' this month between representatives of Afghanistan and the Taliban, aimed at accelerating the ongoing intra-Afghan negotiations on achieving a just and durable political settlement.

Turkey will host the Istanbul Conference on the Afghanistan Peace Process in Istanbul from April 24 to May 4 between representatives of Afghanistan and the Taliban, the UN said on Tuesday.

'The co-conveners are committed to supporting a sovereign, independent and unified Afghanistan,” it added.

India is among the over 20 nations that have been invited for the talks.

The UN said that the overriding objective of the Istanbul Conference on the Afghanistan Peace Process is to accelerate and complement the ongoing intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha on the achievement of a just and durable political settlement.

'Participation in the Conference and its agenda have been the subject of extensive consultations with the Afghan parties. The Conference will focus on helping the negotiating parties reach a set of shared, foundational principles that reflect an agreed vision for a future Afghanistan, a roadmap to a future political settlement and an end to the conflict,” the UN said.

'It is our expectation that the Conference will provide an important opportunity for all partners to reiterate support for the people of Afghanistan on their path toward inclusive peace, stability, and prosperity,” it added.

According to diplomatic sources, India is among the nations invited for the Afghan talks.

Other nations are Australia, Azerbaijan, Canada, China, France, Germany, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, the UK, the US, Pakistan and Russia.

EU High Representative Josep Borrell, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Secretary General of Organization of Islamic Cooperation Yousef Bin Ahmad Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Othaimeen have also been invited to the talks.

The announcement comes on a day when US officials said President Joe Biden has set the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks as the new goal for American troops to leave Afghanistan.

In a February 2020, the US and the Taliban signed an agreement under which the militant group agreed to halt attacks and hold peace talks with the Afghan government, in exchange for a US commitment to a complete withdrawal by May 2021. PTI YAS ZH CPS