Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday said his country supports the peace process in Istanbul and that he looks forward to meeting his Afghan counterpart Mohammad Haneef Atmar at the Turkey conference.
“We support reconciliation in Afghanistan and progress in the peace process, in Istanbul. I look forward to meeting Foreign Minister Atmar at (the) Istanbul Conference and to hosting him in Pakistan soon after to discuss a way forward post-conference,” Qureshi said in a tweet about his telephonic conversation with Atmar.
Qureshi said he hopes that the "Istanbul process" will help make the Doha Agreement fruitful in the pursuit of lasting peace in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s The Nation reported.
Qureshi said Pakistan is a partner in peace efforts in the region, including Afghanistan, adding that his country is committed to continuing its conciliatory assistance to make Afghanistan peaceful and stable, said The Nation.
Both foreign ministers also agreed to meet in Istanbul.
On Saturday, Andreas von Brandt, the European Union ambassador in Afghanistan, urged the Taliban to take the upcoming UN-led conference on Afghanistan seriously and to take advantage of the historic opportunity, if the group wants to have cooperation with the international community.
Speaking at a gathering in Kabul, the envoy said that the Afghan peace process has never been such a high priority as it has been in the last few weeks.
“I still hope that the Taliban will not miss this opportunity offered to them in Istanbul. Never I would say in the last five years has Afghanistan been again high on the agenda as it has been in recent weeks,” said the EU envoy.
The Turkey conference on Afghanistan is scheduled for April 24.
It is not confirmed whether the Taliban will attend the conference, but the group has said that it will not attend any conference until the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.
US and NATO forces are set to leave Afghanistan by September 11.