Preparations are underway for a conference in Turkey to help Afghan negotiators make progress in peace talks, the State Department announced today.
Ministry spokesman Ned Price said at a press conference in Washington that a conference was being planned in Istanbul, Turkey, to speed up the peace process in Afghanistan, with a broad international presence.
The Istanbul conference was aimed at making progress in negotiations between the Afghan parties and was completing the Doha talks.
Price also said that his country & apos; s envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, was looking at a political settlement in Doha, with the parties involved in Afghan affairs.
US President Joe Biden is preparing to decide whether to meet a May 1 deadline to withdraw the last 3,500 US troops in Afghanistan, under an agreement reached in February 2020 with the Taliban during former President Donald Trump’s term.
Before the deadline expires
The Biden administration is seeking to increase international pressure on the Taliban and the U.S.-backed government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to reach a peace agreement and cease-fire before the deadline expires.
The preparations for the Istanbul conference come after the United States proposed a new vision involving the Taliban in a transitional government in Afghanistan until a final peace settlement is agreed.
However, the recent upsurge in violence and the reluctance of the United States to commit to a withdrawal date of 1 May raises questions about the status of the peace process in the coming period.