An official of the US Department of State on Thursday said that the Turkey conference will complement the ongoing peace talks between the negotiating teams representing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban and that the United States will be aimed at accelerating the Afghan peace efforts.
“The gathering, as in all facets of this process, will be Afghan-owned and supported by high-level attendants from the international community, building on recent international meetings in support of the peace process,” Ned Price, spokesperson for the US Department of State, said at a press briefing on Thursday.
“This upcoming conference, it’s meant to help Afghan negotiators to make progress, to make progress in their negotiations, and will complement the peace talks that are currently ongoing in Doha,” she said.
Price said that US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad remains in Doha and that he continues to engage with the parties on this very task, helping the parties, supporting the parties in this Afghan-led, Afghan-owned process to reach a political settlement and comprehensive ceasefire.
“We are working with our Turkish counterparts and the Afghan parties to prepare for constructive participation in this conference,” she said.
In a question on meeting the May 1 deadline for withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, Price said that the Biden administration “is committed to bringing a responsible end to the conflict, committed to removing our troops from harm’s way, and committed to ensuring that Afghanistan can never again become a haven for terrorists who would threaten the United States or our allies.”
She said that the US has sought to galvanize the diplomacy between the parties knowing that there is no military solution to what we face in Afghanistan.
“It’s precisely why at all levels, the President, the Secretary of State, Ambassador Khalilzad and his team have been working tirelessly, including in the region, including in Doha, including in Turkey, including in Russia just the other week to see to it or to lay the groundwork as best we can for those two things we seek to accomplish: a comprehensive political settlement, and a comprehensive ceasefire,” she said.
This comes as a 15-member committee under the High Council for National Reconciliation responsible for consolidating the dozens of peace plan proposals provided by Afghan leaders wrapped up its work on Thursday.
The committee, which is led by former vice president Mohammad Yunus Qanooni, assessed at least 25 peace proposals provided by different parties, including President Ghani’s peace plan, according to the reconciliation council.
“After five working sessions, the assessment and analysis of views offered by political parties, the government, civil society, the media and citizens were assessed and consolidated,” the reconciliation council said in a statement.
According to the statement, the committee is scheduled to hold its last meeting on Saturday to review the views offered.
Following this review, the draft peace plan will be presented at a meeting of the leadership committee of the High Council of National Reconciliation, the statement said.
The reconciliation council officials said this week that the council will present a unified peace plan at the upcoming Turkey conference.