(Arab News): Afghanistan news channel TOLOnews last week disclosed the contents of a letter that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had written to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. It concerned the slowness of progress in the peace process and the US’ intention to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan by May 1. This was one of the first major concrete steps of the Biden administration in terms of foreign policy. Both the content and narrative of the letter varied from the established diplomatic practice. Since it was signed by the secretary of state, it should have been addressed to Blinken’s counterpart, the foreign minister of Afghanistan, or it had to be signed by President Joe Biden and addressed to Ghani. Blinken’s letter stated: “We are considering the full withdrawal of our forces.” The established practice in international relations requires that, when such an important step is being considered, it is more appropriate to present the move as a common decision of the two countries. As a reaction to this unilateral approach, Amrullah Saleh, the first vice president of Afghanistan, said: “They (the US) make decisions on their troops, not on the people of Afghanistan. We will never accept bossy and imposed peace.” Ghani, in turn, said that the future transition of power would occur via elections based on Afghanistan’s constitution, not plans made by “others.” The US should have avoided such an exchange of harsh sentences. In the letter addressed to the Afghan authorities, there was a reference to two sets of meetings with a view to relaunching the peace process. One of them was proposed at the ministerial level with the participation of Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and, of course, the US. The State Department declined to disclose whether these countries were consulted beforehand. If not, some of them may decline the invitation simply because this news was prematurely divulged. We also learned from Blinken’s letter that the second set of meetings is scheduled at the senior officials’ level and that it will be held in Turkey in the coming weeks. The State Department also declined to disclose whether Turkey had agreed to host such a meeting. I presume that, if Ankara was informed beforehand, irrespective of whether it would agree to host the meeting, it would have jubilantly announced it to demonstrate how Turkey could be helpful to the US in its initiatives.