Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country will host the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan as part of efforts to end the Afghan Taliban’s 17-year insurgency.
Erdogan, speaking at a joint news conference with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on January 4, said the trilateral meeting would take place in Istanbul after local elections in March.
Khan told reporters he hoped the meeting would bring “badly needed peace” to Afghanistan.
“Pakistan is already helping dialogue between Taliban and [the] Americans,” said Khan, who was making his first visit to Turkey since he came to power in August. “I look forward to the summit meeting in Istanbul, where we hope that Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Turkey will be able to help in this peace process.”
The announcement of a trilateral meeting comes amid U.S. attempts to encourage negotiations between the Taliban and the Kabul government.
U.S. special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has held at least three rounds of talks with Taliban officials in recent months in the Middle East, although the militants have refused to talk directly to the Afghan government.
Based on reporting by AP and Daily Sabah.
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