Turkey to bring Afghanistan, Pakistan closer: Erdogan

The Turkish president says his country will continue to mediate between Afghanistan and Pakistan; and the Turkish troops established a peaceful environment in Afghanistan just like it did in Kosovo, Bosnia and Somalia

Turkey to bring Afghanistan, Pakistan closer: Erdogan

World Bulletin/News Desk

Turkey will continue to mediate between Afghanistan and Pakistan on terrorism-related issues, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday.

Addressing a joint press briefing in Kabul with Afghanistan’s newly-elected President Ashraf Ghani, Erdogan said Pakistan's border-control measures had been effective in preventing terrorists from gaining a safe passage into Afghanistan during the Afghan election period last June.  

He added the measures contributed greatly towards ensuring a stable and peaceful election environment in Afghanistan.

"There are three Muslim countries in question here. We expect to take decisive steps during the negotiations," Erdogan said.

The Afghanistan-Pakistan-Turkey trilateral summit began in 2007 under the name ‘Istanbul Process.’

It aims to resolve problems arising from Afghan government allegations that the Afghan Taliban find sanctuaries inside Pakistan and build mutual trust between the two neighboring countries.

"Extremism is not just the problem of only one country, but it is an international problem," Ghani said.

He said there could be success in finding a solution if the terrorism threat was dealt from a ‘common perspective.’

"Turkey plays a vital role in that question” in Afghanistan-Pakistan relations, he said, “so we look forward to Erdogan’s efforts in this regard."

This is the Turkish president’s first visit to Afghanistan since Ghani became the president. He arrived in the country early Saturday morning.

Erdogan also said Turkey along with the U.S., Germany and Italy would be one of the four NATO countries that would continue to support the development of the Afghan National Security Forces.

Turkey would also contribute to the security and operations of the Kabul airport, he said.

"Our investments in Afghanistan’s mining, oil exploration, construction and food sector will also continue as planned without any slowdown," the Turkish president added.

Erdogan visits Turkish troops 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also lauded Turkish troops stationed in Afghanistan for their efforts in maintaining peace and stability in the volatile country during his visit to Camp Dogan in Kabul Saturday.

Camp Dogan is name of the Turkish military unit in Kabul where the troops are stationed. It is linked with the UN Security Council mission in Afghanistan that aims to train the Afghan security forces.

Addressing the Turkish troops, Erdogan said: "You have established a peaceful environment in Afghanistan just like you did in your previous missions in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lebanon and Somalia."

He said the Turkish Army was one of the world's largest and most ancient army. The president expressed his confidence in the ability of his troops to fulfill their duties professionally.

According to the website of the International Security Assistance Force and NATO, Turkey currently has 393 troops in Afghanistan out of the total 41,124 international soldiers from 48 countries stationed there as of Sept. 3, 2014.

Erdogan said the crescent and star of the Turkish flag represented peace, solidarity and brotherhood, and the Turkish troops were doing their duty to ensure all that in Afghanistan.

He said the Turkish Armed Forces had also played a key role in helping the refugees from the Syrian town of Kobani.

More than 170,000 people have crossed into Turkey from Kobani since mid-September when the ISIL besieged it.

Last Mod: 19 Ekim 2014, 10:27
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