KABUL: The US-backed and UN-led conference on Afghan peace in Turkey has been postponed as Taliban are unprepared to attend it, Reuters quoting unnamed sources reported on Tuesday.
Turkey announced that the Istanbul Summit had been postponed until the end of Ramadan, the holy month during which Muslims fast.
“The Istanbul meeting is not happening on the given date because the Taliban refused to attend,” a senior Afghan government official who wished not to be named told Reuters.
“We felt it would be better if we postponed it… We discussed it with Qatar, the US, and the UN, and we agreed to keep it after Ramadan and Eid,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the Haberturk news channel on Tuesday.
After the United States’ latest decision to remove its forces from Afghanistan, Cavusoglu added that there is “no need to hurry.”
“Without the Taliban, the meeting will be pointless. We agreed to postpone it for the time being because there is uncertainty regarding delegation composition and participation,” he said.
The international meeting is considered essential for Afghanistan’s future and was scheduled to occur from April 24 to May 4.
The Taliban had previously stated that they would not participate in any Afghan peace talks until all foreign forces leave the country.
Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said the group had no information about the postponement and that he could not comment on possible dates for the conference after Ramadan.
A spokesperson for the Afghan government also refused to comment on the subject.