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Editorial: Eyes on Istanbul conference

Though the people of Afghanistan are not much optimism to meetings, sessions and conferences that have been and are held in different countries where participants talk on peace in the war-hit country, but this time the views look to be different and that is about the upcoming conference that is planned to be held although with the same agenda but in Turkey, a country with old historic relations with the Afghan nation. The conference scheduled to be held in the country’s European city of Istanbul in early April has already created waves of hopes in the public opinion in Afghanistan, where people think that the friendly nation of Turkey would do their best to help a lasting peace replace the current bloodshed in their country. A similar event was held this month in Russia’s capital city of Moscow. That session seemed to have had no achievement as Taliban representatives did not agree with what was demanded by the Afghan delegation and diplomats from four foreign countries regarding ceasefire.

Since Afghanistan and Turkey maintain friendly relations for long decades and Afghans have seen Turkey’s interference in their affairs or support of any sides of war, Afghans are very much hopeful and optimistic that Turkey will manage to convince the war parties particularly Taliban to abandon violence and agree on a ceasefire that leads to a durable peace. We Afghans are grateful to Turkish brothers and sisters for hosting tens of thousands of our refugees for many years despite facing problems with the refugees from other countries.

The upcoming conference is to discuss again the ways to peace. All sides involved in Afghanistan issues are expected to participate in that conference and offer their viewpoints. The past events that did not gain achievements are said to have had some problems with the participating sides, but with Turkey all are in good relations and nobody has an objection. The government of Afghanistan has announced to participate in the conference, while it was absent in some of the events held in the recent years.

Another important matter is that Taliban also respect Turkey and its policies regarding Afghanistan. The Taliban already confirmed their participation. India, another important country in the region, also confirmed its participation in Istanbul conference while it probable refused Moscow meeting on Afghan peace. Even President Ashraf Ghani said he will attend the conference if Taliban leader Mullah Hibatullah confirms his participation. This shows the value of this meeting, which is unique. Considering of all these good things from Turkey on Afghanistan, the people of Afghanistan take the Istanbul conference as a good omen to a peaceful and calm dawn after a long dark of war.

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