Turkey to host Afghan settlement talks
Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the Turkish government will host a senior-level meeting between Afghan government representatives and the Taliban in the coming weeks to finalize a peace deal.
"We were one of the few countries invited to this signing ceremony, and we are one of the most important actors in Afghanistan,” he told Anadolu Agency and TRT in a joint interview.
Turkey is trusted by both parties in the talks, Cavusoglu said, and added: "Both the Taliban and the negotiation delegation, meaning the government side, had asked us to host such a meeting before."
He cited Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s meetings with his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, the head of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation.
Cavusoglu said he also met with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban deputy chief and leader of its delegation, in Qatar last year after the signing of a peace deal with the U.S.
He stressed that Turkey would also appoint a special envoy for Afghanistan to contribute to the process.
Cavusoglu added that the meeting in Ankara will not be an alternative to the Qatar process but a supporting one. "We will do this in coordination with our sister nation Qatar," he said, adding that the aim is to make the negotiation continue in a result-oriented manner.
Cavusoglu said he believes that Turkey will contribute significantly to the meeting, which is planned to be held in Istanbul in April.