Turkey to host trilateral foreign ministers meeting with Afghanistan and Pakistan

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry confirmed Thursday that a trilateral meeting between foreign ministers from Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan will take place on Friday, April 23, in Istanbul to discuss the Afghan peace process.

According to a statement issued by Turkey’s foreign office, a “trilateral meeting between Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan will take place on 23 April 2021 in Istanbul.”

“Along with recent developments regarding the Afghan Peace Process, cooperation in the fields of security, energy, connectivity and irregular migration will be discussed during the Trilateral Meeting.

“On the margins of the meeting, H.E. Çavuşoğlu will also hold bilateral meetings with his Afghan and Pakistani counterparts,” read the statement.

Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar meanwhile left Kabul on Thursday afternoon for Istanbul where he will attend the meeting, said the ministry.

According to the ministry, the meeting, due to be held tomorrow, will focus on ways to reach a political settlement in Afghanistan, the resumption of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, strengthening of regional consensus for supporting peace, Turkey and Pakistan’s role in this regard, and consolidating trilateral relations.

At the sidelines of this meeting, Atmar will also engage in bilateral meetings on strengthening political, economic, and security cooperation, read the statement.

This comes just a day after Turkey, Qatar and the United Nations announced the much-anticipated Istanbul Conference had been postponed.

The conference, that was to have been co-hosted by Turkey, Qatar and the UN, had been proposed by the United States as part of its efforts to secure a peace agreement between the Afghan Republic and the Taliban.

However, last week the Taliban said in response to US President Joe Biden’s announcement that troops would be out of the country by September 11, and not as originally agreed on May 1, that they would not attend any summit on peace until all troops had exited.