Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkish ministers to discuss Afghan peace prospects

Peace talks in Turkey were scheduled for April 24 to fast-track an agreement between the Taliban and Afghan government

  
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu looks on as he gives a joint statement with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell (not pictured), ahead of a meeting at the EEAS in Brussels, Belgium, January 21, 2021. Stephanie Lecocq/Pool via REUTERS

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu looks on as he gives a joint statement with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell (not pictured), ahead of a meeting at the EEAS in Brussels, Belgium, January 21, 2021. Stephanie Lecocq/Pool via REUTERS

ANKARA - The foreign ministers of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey will hold talks in Istanbul on Friday, Turkey said, after a wider Afghan peace conference was postponed because the Taliban said they would not participate.

The planned peace talks in Turkey were scheduled for April 24 to fast-track an agreement between the Taliban and Afghan government in light of the announcement by Washington that foreign troops would leave Afghanistan by Sep 11.

No new date has been set for those talks.

Turkey's foreign ministry said Friday's three-way meeting would cover "recent developments regarding the Afghan peace process, cooperation in the fields of security, energy, connectivity and irregular migration".

On Monday, Pakistan urged the Taliban to remain engaged in the Afghan peace process after the armed group said it would now shun summits about Afghanistan until all foreign forces leave.

The decision was taken after the United States said last week it would withdraw all troops by Sept. 11 this year, later than a May 1 deadline set out by the previous administration.

(Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Dominic Evans) ((ece.toksabay@tr.com; +90 312 2927022; Reuters Messaging: ece.toksabay.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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