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Istanbul summit to advance peace process

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                After Moscow, the United States' special envoy for peace in Afghanistan is in Turkey where he is continuing his tour to speed up the peace talks in Afghanistan.  Turkey will host a summit devoted to the peace process in Afghanistan in early April and hopes to give new impetus to the negotiations.
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                                    <p><span><span><span><em>With our correspondent in Kabul,</em> <strong>Sonia Ghezali</strong></span></span></span>

After Moscow, it’s Istanbul’s turn. The upcoming meeting in Turkey on peace in Afghanistan is seen as an opportunity to breathe new life into the peace talks between the Afghan authorities and the Taliban.

Turkey, member of NATO and economic partner of l’Afghanistan, hopes to play a role in speeding up negotiations, which have been difficult since they started last September. And there is urgency. Because there are only 5 weeks left before the deadline of May 1st.

The United States they are engaged to leave Afghanistan by May 1 as part of the agreement signed with the Taliban on February 29, 2020 in Doha, Qatar. In return, the Taliban pledged to no longer attack American and NATO soldiers and to participate in inter-Afghan peace negotiations. But these are at a standstill.

9 600 foreign soldiers in Afghanistan

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But the United States has yet to decide whether to maintain its troops or withdraw, as the agreement requires. For their part, the Taliban warned on Friday March 26 that they would resume fighting against foreign forces if they continued their mission beyond that date.

Today there are 9 600 foreign soldiers in Afghanistan. Among them, 2,500 are Americans. While no attacks have been directed against foreign forces since the Doha agreement, those against government forces and employees have intensified.

A campaign of targeted assassinations targeting civil society activists as well as journalists has also been sowing terror in the country for several months.

Read also: The US Secretary of Defense on a surprise visit to Afghanistan

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Source site www.rfi.fr

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