Turkish government voices support for Afghan peace process

The head of Afghanistan's peace negotiations with the Taliban visited Ankara on Thursday as talks continue in Doha.

al-monitor Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (C) and first Vice President Amrullah Saleh (R) deplane upon their arrival in Qatar's capital, Doha, on Oct. 5, 2020. Ghani met with Qatari officials, three weeks after the launch of landmark peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.  Photo by Press Office of the President of Afghanistan/AFP via Getty Images.

Nov 20, 2020

The head of Afghanistan’s peace talks, Abdullah Abdullah, visited the Turkish capital, Ankara, on Thursday for a series of meetings. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey supports reconciliation efforts in the South Asian country.

“Turkey's strong support for friendly & brotherly Afghan people's peace demand will continue,” Cavusoglu said in a tweet.

Abdullah chairs the High Council for National Reconciliation, which leads the Afghan government’s peace negotiations with the Taliban. The Afghan government has been in a state of conflict with the Taliban since the United States deposed the radical Islamist group in 2001.

The government and the Taliban are currently participating in peace talks in Qatar. Turkey is a strong ally of Qatar. The US government is also participating in the talks and the Trump administration plans to soon withdraw some US troops from Afghanistan.

Much of Abdullah’s visit focused on garnering support for the peace talks. Abdullah said in a tweet that he met with Turkish Religious Affairs Minister Ali Arbash to discuss the peace process. Abdullah also sat down with Turkish parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop.

“We are pleased with the start of the process of negotiations that form an important step to permanent peace between the Afghans,” said Sentop, according to the Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency.