Turkey vows to sustain Afghan peace efforts despite bomb attack

Premier Davutoglu says such attacks will never discourage Turkey from contributing to maintaining peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Turkey vows to sustain Afghan peace efforts despite bomb attack
World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu pledged Thursday that Turkey will continue to contribute to peace and stability in Afghanistan despite an early morning bomb attack in Kabul that killed one Turkish soldier.

"Turkey will always stand with determination against such attacks and keep on doing its best for Afghanistan's stability and tranquility," he told a meeting of governors at Ankara's House of Provinces.

The attack hit a special team protecting Turkish Ambassador Ismail Aramaz, NATO's Senior Civilian Representative in the country, killing two people, including a Turkish soldier, and wounding another in a bomb attack in Kabul, the Turkish General Staff announced.

Davutoglu condemned the "heinous attack regardless of the motive behind it," adding that the Turkish government wants the perpetrators to be punished. 

The premier described terrorism as a crime against humanity that must be harshly condemned.

He said Turkey and Afghanistan are old friends and so Turkey has never left Afghanistan’s side due to their age-long friendship.

"Turkey's role as the 'protector of peace' in Afghanistan will always continue," he added.

  Cavusoglu says Turkey is in Afghanistan for country's stability 

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also commented on the issue on Thursday, saying Turkey has never sent combat forces in Afghanistan.

"Turkey is in Afghanistan for the country's stability. We have never sent combatant forces in Afghanistan, on the contrary, they were non-combatant," Cavusoglu said.

The foreign minister explained that Turkish missions in Afghanistan aimed for its development and delivering humanitarian aid "as quickly as possible" to the Afghan people.

"Turkey will continue to exist in Afghanistan and continue to help Afghan people," Cavusoglu said. "Turkey has undertaken the management of Kabul International Airport and we will continue to do that."

Cavusoglu also mentioned that there have never been direct attacks on Turkish soldiers before and an investigation into the issue is ongoing.

Turkey's foreign ministry also released a statement about the incident, saying Turkey expects the perpetrators to be caught and put on trial as soon as possible.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bomb attack but said the Turkish convoy was not the intended target.

"The target was a U.S. military convoy," Zabihullah Mujahid, the purported spokesman of the militant group, said on his Twitter account. 

The Taliban intensified their attacks, especially in Kabul, soon after the new government under President Ashraf Ghani signed the Bilateral Security Agreement with the U.S. and the Status of Force Agreement with NATO last year.

The NATO-led 13-year Afghanistan war concluded last year by shifting the security responsibilities to the nascent Afghan security forces across the country.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Şubat 2015, 13:00