U.S.-backed Afghanistan peace conference postponed

Kabul, Afghanistan-Turkey announced earlier Wednesday that a meeting was postponed, hoping Washington would move the war side of Afghanistan to a final peace agreement, as new violence shook the capital of Afghanistan.

The postponement of the meeting, which began on Saturday in Istanbul, highlighted the difficulties the Biden administration faces in organizing an orderly escape from conflict-damaged Afghanistan. The United States said it would begin withdrawing the rest of its troops from the country on May 1, and would complete the withdrawal by September 11, no matter what.

In a television interview, Turkish Foreign Minister Mebrut Chabsogur said the meeting was postponed until the end of Ramadan’s Islamic fasting month, which ends in mid-May.

Just hours before his announcement, a suicide bomber attacked a convoy of Afghan guards, injuring five in Kabul. The Interior Ministry said civilians and guards were among the injured.

Attacks were first in the capital in a few weeks, despite targeted killings escalating and Afghan guards exposed to relentless attacks by Taliban militants. In recent months, we have also seen an increase in government bombings of suspected Taliban positions and an increase in attacks by Afghan special forces.

No one was immediately responsible for the attack.

Cavusoglu said the meeting, which was expected to begin on Saturday, was postponed without giving details due to “lack of clarity” by the participants.

So far, Taliban militias have refused to sign the conference, despite pressure on Pakistan, where their council is located, to attend hard-line Islamic militias.

The Taliban accused Washington of violating last year’s signed agreement that the United States would withdraw its last army by May 1.

However, President Joe Biden, who took over the deal with the Taliban from his predecessor, said last week that an estimated 2,500 troops would begin leaving the country on May 1. An attack on the United States that launched a US-led invasion to hunt down al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

On Sunday, the Taliban issued an English statement on their al-Emara site, indicating that they were not ready to attend the meeting. They claimed that a strong promotional campaign had begun and showed hope that a peace agreement would be reached at the end of the planned 10-day meeting.

The statement said the statement was an attempt to “push the Taliban voluntarily or reluctantly into the hasty decisions that the United States needs.” He claimed that the purpose of the meeting was “to complete the roadmap for the show before the withdrawal of foreign troops.”

In Kabul, Afghan government alliance negotiators expected a delay as no one received the invitation to the meeting and some did not have a visa to Turkey.

Ned price
State Department spokesman Ned Price spoke at a daily press conference at the State Department in Washington on February 25, 2021. (Nicholas Cam / Pool / AFP via Getty Images)

In Washington, US State Department spokesman Ned Price has not confirmed the postponement, but said the United States will continue its diplomatic efforts to reach a peace agreement.

“As far as the talks in Istanbul are concerned, this has not been a military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan since the very early days of the Biden administration, and political resolution and a comprehensive ceasefire are safe and stable for the Afghan people. We could support a resolution that would bring prosperity, “Price said in a statement.

Kathy Gannon