Turkey, Asia - Pacific

Turkish FM hints Kabul visit with counterparts from ‘friendly’ countries

We follow the situation in Afghanistan closely, says Cavusoglu in news conference with Indonesian counterpart Retno

Nazli Yuzbasioglu and Behlul Cetinkaya   | 12.10.2021
Turkish FM hints Kabul visit with counterparts from ‘friendly’ countries


Turkey’s foreign minister on Tuesday said he may soon visit the Afghan capital Kabul with a group of counterparts from friendly countries.

“We follow the situation in Afghanistan closely. We are planning to go to Kabul with some other foreign ministers soon," Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint news conference with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi in the capital Ankara.

Cavusoglu said he discussed the potential visit with Retno during their meeting in New York on the sidelines of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

Some other friendly ministers also “loved the idea," Cavusoglu said, adding: "We will plan for this in the coming days.”

His remarks came as Afghanistan faces an economic and humanitarian crisis in the wake of the Taliban's takeover in mid-August.

Turkish president to visit Indonesia

Noting that Retno's visit is her first bilateral visit at the Foreign Ministry level, Cavusoglu highlighted close relations with her Indonesian counterpart.

“Retno is one of the foreign ministers I have met the most since the day I became a minister and hosted the most in Turkey on different occasions. We also talk on the phone often,” he added.

Pointing out that Indonesia is one of Turkey's most important partners in the Asia-Pacific, Cavusoglu said they also discussed the details of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's planned visit to Indonesia.

He said they talked about the establishment of a High-Level Strategic Council, and that the first meeting will be held during Erdogan's visit.

Cavusoglu said Turkey and Indonesia will not only provide medicines and PPE to each other during the time of coronavirus but will also start joint production. In a tweet, he said they "signed agreements on development & pharmaceutical production."

Mentioning “significant progress” between Turkey and Indonesia on the defense industry, Cavusoglu said: “We need to achieve joint production and technology transfer in the medium and long term with a win-win understanding.”

The Turkish minister said that with a new agreement signed with the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), Turkey and Indonesia will cooperate to provide development support to other countries.

The two diplomats also discussed Rohingya Muslims, who fled Myanmar following a 2017 military crackdown.

“Turkey gives its best support to Rohingya whether they are in Myanmar or Bangladesh, and today we reaffirmed to send them COVID-19 vaccines," Cavusoglu said and thanked Indonesia for its support to the minority group.

Noting that Turkey’s Asia Anew initiative, which aims to establish stronger ties with Asian countries, is not just a slogan, the Turkish diplomat said: “ Our roots are in Asia. We see the potential in Asia. It has become the center of the economy.”

Cavusoglu said Turkey has a status in ASEAN with the support of Indonesia. “We see Indonesia as the most important partner for the success of our Asia Anew initiative.”

Joint declaration on travel corridor

The two leaders also signed a joint declaration on a travel corridor arrangement and mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccine certificates.

Turkey and Indonesia “have agreed bilaterally on the implementation of a temporary travel corridor between the two countries to facilitate travel during the COVID-19 pandemic for employment, trade, investment, other business, and economic purposes,” according to the declaration.

“The implementation of this arrangement will take an immediate effect and both countries will reactivate their previous entry policies when their COVID-19 travel restrictions have been lifted,” it added.

“The two Ministers also announce the Mutual Recognition of the Vaccine Certificates issued by the relevant authorities of the two countries ....," it noted.

“The two parties are determined to further explore the possibility of synchronizing the certification system used by both governments in view of enabling a more integrated bilateral travel arrangement, including the interoperability of COVID-19 Vaccination and PCR Certificate."

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