By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: The much-awaited UN-led conference on Afghanistan will begin on April 24, the co-conveners of the conference said amid intensive diplomatic efforts to put an end to the ongoing conflict in the country.
“The Republic of Turkey, the State of Qatar, and the United Nations are co-convening a high level and inclusive conference from 24 April – 4 May 2021 between representatives of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban. Turkey is hosting the conference in Istanbul,” the statement said yesterday.
The statement says that the co-conveners are committed to supporting a sovereign, independent and unified Afghanistan.
Based on the statement, “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.”
According to the statement, the expectation from the conference is to provide an important opportunity for all partners to reiterate support for the people of Afghanistan on their path toward inclusive peace, stability, and prosperity. Initially, the Turkey conference was supposed to be on April 16.
But the Taliban on Monday said that the group is not ready to attend the Turkey conference on the earlier expected date, April 16, given their consultations on the details of the event. He said the Taliban is reviewing the details of the Turkey conference agenda shared with them by the United States.
Naeem said that the leadership of the group has not made a final decision on the agenda and the formation of its delegation for the Istanbul conference. He said they will soon announce their stance on the issue.
The Afghan government said it will also participate in the conference in Turkey by sending an inclusive negotiating team.
Nevertheless, Lawmakers in the Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of the Afghan Parliament, said that the delegation that is expected to attend the Turkey conference should be inclusive and that it should defend Afghans’ interests and the gains of the last two decades.