Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey Calls on Taliban to Return to Negotiations Table
ISTANBUL – The Afghanistan – Turkey – Pakistan trilateral meeting was successfully held today in Istanbul, Turkey. Minister Atmar in his opening remarks, praised Turkey’s efforts as a valuable and trustworthy friend of Afghanistan in strengthening peace process, convening the trilateral meeting, and holding the next round of peace talks. Minister Atmar also appreciated Pakistan’s active role in assisting the efforts to lay the groundwork for peace talks, and called the trilateral meeting a substantial platform for expanding relations and cooperation with Pakistan.
Minister Atmar said that Afghanistan has fulfilled all its commitments towards paving the ground for achieving political settlement with the Taliban, including releasing 6000 Taliban prisoners. Discussing the peace proposal presented by H.E. the Afghan President, Minister Atmar stated that Afghanistan is fully prepared to share power with the Taliban through the peace government until holding early Elections.
H.E. Mevlut Cavusoglu reckoned political settlement as the only possible option to end war in Afghanistan and called for close cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan for the success of peace process. He said that Turkey will also try to convene the Trilateral Summit before commencement of the upcoming peace talks in Turkey.
Foreign Minister of Pakistan, H.E. Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Quraishi in his statement said that the Taliban didn’t indicate their willingness to participate, but we believe that it is a temporary postponement He hoped that the peace talks resume after Eid-ul-Fitr in Turkey, and that both sides would commit to negotiating an inclusive and comprehensive peace agreement.
By the end of the meeting, Ministers of three countries appeared in a press conference and called on the Taliban to return to the negotiating table and resume the peace talks.
All three countries deplored high level of violence in the joint declaration released at the end of the trilateral meeting, and emphasized immediate, sustainable, and comprehensive ceasefire as a prerequisite for creating conductive atmosphere for the success of peace talks.
The three countries reiterated their commitment to a peaceful, sovereign, independent, democratic, and united Afghanistan. Officials from the three countries also discussed and exchanged views on expanding economic cooperation and implementing regional connectivity projects, joint fight against terrorism and organized crimes, irregular migrations, and enhancing welfare in the region.