‘Turkey aims to establish peace in Afghanistan’: Parliament speaker
Mustafa Sentop speaks to Afghan counterpart Mir Rahman Rahmani on phone, marking holiday of Muslim Eid al-Adha
Turkey aims to establish and maintain peace in Afghanistan through its recent efforts and initiatives, said Turkey’s parliament speaker on Thursday.
Mustafa Sentop and Mir Rahman Rahmani, the speaker of Afghanistan's House of the People, had a phone conversation on the occasion of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, according to a statement by Turkey’s Parliament Speaker’s Office.
During their talk, Sentop and Rahmani exchanged holiday greetings and discussed bilateral relations.
“We believe that peace will prevail in Afghanistan and be lasting,” said Sentop.
Underlining that this year marks the centennial of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Afghanistan, Sentop said: “In this special year, Turkey sincerely hopes that our Afghan brothers and sisters will reach the peace, tranquility and stability they have been waiting for so long.”
Stressing that Turkey has closely followed recent developments in Afghanistan, Sentop said: “The safety of the Afghan people will always be one of the top priorities for Turkey in any dialogue conducted in this sensitive process.”
Rahmani, for his part, said: “We support all initiatives taken by Turkey for safeguarding Kabul airport. We believe that the Turkish Armed Forces would better assure the security of the airport than other countries.”
Rahmani thanked Turkey for its recent efforts to establish lasting peace in Afghanistan, saying they show the longstanding historical ties between the two countries.
“The Afghan parliament stands by Turkey,” Rahmani said.
Violence has risen in Afghanistan since the announcement that all US forces and NATO allies are set to withdraw from the country this summer.
Intense fighting between Afghan forces and the Taliban continues amid the withdrawal of foreign troops.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that Turkey is considering operating the airport in the capital Kabul and is also ready to discuss the peace process with the Taliban.
Ankara has been running military and logistic operations at the Kabul airport for six years as part of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission.
*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz