Haji Din Mohammad, the deputy head of the High Council of National Reconciliation (HCNR), on Wednesday said that the UN-led conference on Afghanistan is expected to convene in the last week of May or first week of June. Originally, the conference was scheduled for April 24, however, it was postponed due to the lack of participation of the Taliban.
According to Haji Din Mohammad, the Taliban are now in talks with the US about the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from the country, and, according to his analysis, the Americans will completely leave Afghanistan in early July.
Meanwhile, US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in a trip to Tajikistan has said that the main purpose of his regional trips is to gather more support for the peace process in Afghanistan. Khalilzad recently visited Kabul, Qatar and Uzbekistan where he held talks with senior officials of these nations on the peace process in Afghanistan, as the timeline for the Instanbul conference on Afghanistan gets closer.
“The meetings were aimed at how we can cooperate toward bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan,” said Khalilzad.
“The Turks will announce the date as the last week of May or on the first week of June; until then the Taliban and the Americans will be trying to reach an agreement,” said Haji Din Mohammad.
Sources close to the Taliban have also confirmed that the group is currently in talks with the Americans and Taliban’s chief negotiator Mawlavi Abdul Hakim Haqqani is in Pakistan where he is consulting with others.
“Discussions are focused on whether to participate in these talks or not, or whether we (Taliban) should resume attacks on foreign forces or not,” said Mawlavi Jalaluddin Shinwari, the former Taliban attorney general.
The UN-led conference on Afghanistan is considered a critical opportunity to provide an end to the prevailing conflict in Afghanistan.
This comes after a Pakistani delegation led by special envoy Mohammad Sadiq during their two-day visit to Kabul this week assured the Afghan government of the meaningful participation of the Taliban at the Istanbul summit.