Turkey Ready to Host Taliban Talks

Turkey Ready to Host Taliban Talks

The Turks and Afghans are talking about setting up an official venue in Turkey for negotiating a political settlement in Afghanistan.

Facebook
Twitter
Email
Flipboard
Pocket

Afghanistan’s chief security official told reporters that he’d support the idea of the Taliban setting up an office in Turkey, so that negotiators would have an “address” to go to for talks. And, in a separate interview, President Karzai told an interviewer that he, too, wishes that the Taliban had an “address” so talks could more easily be conducted.

This isn’t the first time that the idea of a Taliban office in Turkey has been suggested, and the Turks—who’ve similarly engaged in nuclear diplomacy with Iran, in trying to bridge the Israel-Syria divide and in seeking a Fatah-Hamas accord among the Palestinians—might be especially well suited to facilitate an Afghan accord.

According to RFE/RL:

“The Afghan government would welcome any assistance by Turkey to open a representative office for the Taliban on Turkish soil, the Afghan national security adviser told RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan.

“In an interview on March 1 in London, Rangin Dadfar Spanta told RFE/RL the representative office could facilitate talks with the militant group. ‘In order to hold talks with the group,’ he said, ‘It is better if they have an address.’ ”

Importantly, RFE/RL cited a representative of Karzai’s peace council saying that Turkey was ready for that role:

“A spokesperson for the 70-member high peace council that is trying to broker peace with the Taliban said in Kabul that ‘Turkey had expressed readiness to be the center of talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.’

“These developments follow a trip to Turkey last week by another Afghan delegation, headed by former President Burhanuddin Rabbani.

“A joint press release by Rabbani, the head of the council, and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey supported the efforts of the high peace council to bring peace to Afghanistan.

“According to the statement, Turkey said it would assist the peace process provided the Taliban lay down its weapons.”

In his interview, with Britain’s Channel 4 news, Karzai said that talks with the Taliban are already underway, but that they are made more difficult because the Taliban has to operate in secret and can’t meet publicly. Said Karzai: “The contacts are going on. The contacts don’t get to a fixed address unfortunately, because that address is not there.”

Like this Blog Post? Read it on the Nation’s free iPhone App, NationNow.

Thank you for reading The Nation!

We hope you enjoyed the story you just read. It takes a dedicated team to publish timely, deeply researched pieces like this one. For over 150 years, The Nation has stood for truth, justice, and democracy. Today, in a time of media austerity, articles like the one you just read are vital ways to speak truth to power and cover issues that are often overlooked by the mainstream media.

This month, we are calling on those who value us to support our Spring Fundraising Campaign and make the work we do possible. The Nation is not beholden to advertisers or corporate owners—we answer only to you, our readers.

Can you help us reach our $20,000 goal this month? Donate today to ensure we can continue to publish journalism on the most important issues of the day, from climate change and abortion access to the Supreme Court and the peace movement. The Nation can help you make sense of this moment, and much more.

Thank you for being a supporter of independent journalism.

Ad Policy
x