Afghan peace: US envoy in Kabul ahead of Turkey meet

Zalmay Khalilzad urges Afghan officials to have uniform strategy for conference likely to be held in Istanbul this month

Shadi Khan Saif – Updated April 11, 2021

KABUL, Afghanistan (Anadolu) – Washington’s special envoy for Afghanistan visited Kabul on Saturday, days ahead of a key huddle on the peace process in Turkey.

Zalmay Khalilzad held separate meetings with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the country’s High Council of National Reconciliation (HCNR), as well as other senior officials.

Ghani and Khalilzad discussed preparations for the international conference in Istanbul and other developments related to the peace process, according to a statement by the Afghan presidency.

In his meeting with Abdullah, the US official said the world expects “Afghanistan to attend the Istanbul Conference with a uniform strategy,” the HCNR said in a separate statement.

Earlier this week, Ghani floated the idea of a transitional government to push forward the peace process, a proposal part of a three-point plan formulated by the Afghan president.

No date has been announced yet for the proposed Istanbul conference, but it is likely to be held later this month.

Oguzhan Ertugrul, Turkey’s ambassador to Afghanistan, has also been holding meetings with senior Afghan officials and politicians in this connection.

“Turkey will continue to contribute to efforts to achieve meaningful progress in the peace process,” the Turkish Embassy in Kabul said on Twitter on Saturday.

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