Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad visited Turkey March 26-29 to discuss with Turkish counterparts the upcoming Istanbul international conference on the Afghanistan peace process. Building on recent international gatherings in support of the peace process, the Istanbul conference is meant to help Afghan negotiators accelerate their efforts to end the war in Afghanistan and agree to a political settlement and a permanent ceasefire. The conference will complement peace talks currently ongoing in Doha.
Ambassador Khalilzad and U.S. Ambassador to Turkey David Satterfield met with Presidential Advisor Ibrahim Kalin, Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal, and other senior Turkish officials.
American and Turkish officials consulted on the timing, format, and overall objectives and agenda of the conference to ensure that it will be well prepared and organized. They agreed that an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned conference, supported by high-level attendance from the international community, provides the best means to accelerate the peace process. They also agreed to urge the Afghan parties to prepare for constructive participation in this conference.