World Bulletin/News Desk
The senior Afghan diplomat in Turkey has said that Turkey and Afghanistan would become strategic partners in 2013.
"We are going to transform Turkey-Afghanistan Friendship Agreement which was signed under the conditions of 1921, into Turkey-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership in the first months of next year," Afghan ambassador in Ankara, Amanullah Jayhoon, told The Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview.
Recalling that revision of the friendship agreement was brought up during a meeting between Turkish President Abdullah Gul and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai at the UN summit in Chicago earlier this year, Jayhoon said the reconsideration of the agreement would be beneficial for both countries.
"Turkey-Afghanistan Friendship Agreement was signed 91 years ago under conditions of the time, but we need to take a step forward. This friendship agreement will transform into a strategic partnership agreement. A rough draft is being prepared, and the agreement will be inked during the Turkish president's visit to Afghanistan in the first months of 2013," he said.
Recalling that he began his Turkey mission in July, the ambassador stated that his task in Ankara would not be hard for him "because Turks love Afghanistan a lot and regard themselves as Afghan ambassadors."
Noting that Afghan people have faith in Turkish people, "our soldiers fought shoulder to shoulder with Turkish soldiers against the enemy of Turks in the Dardanelles Battle of 1915. During that time, Afghan women contributed to the Turkish war effort by selling their jewelry. And now, Turkish soldiers fulfill duties in Afghanistan. They have been providing training for Afghan security forces. They are making an effort to establish peace in Afghanistan. Afghan people regard Turkish soldiers as their own children. A relation cannot be better than this," Jayhoon said.
The ambassador noted that Afghanistan was of vital importance in terms of its strategic position.
International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) and Turkey have been contributing to his country to help bring peace, Jayhoon said, stressing that the training of the Afghan forces should have started earlier than 2007.
He indicated that there were approximately 200,000 trained Afghan forces in the country.
"For the time being, the Afghan security forces are in good shape. Of course, they have several problems. In a short time, 75 percent of the country's security will be handed over to Afghan forces and remaining 25 percent will be taken over by 2013. And when NATO forces leave the country, our security forces will able to take full responsibility," the ambassador said.
He also stated that regional countries were playing a crucial role over making Afghanistan a peaceful land.
Noting that Tabilan was a fact in the country and that they were not denying it, Jayhoon said they were not seeing militants as a threat for Afghanistan. He underlined that they were willing to solve the problem with dialogue.
The Afgani ambassador said that Taliban could engage in civilian politics if they meet the conditions.
"Afghanistan has a constitution. The Afghan government tells them this: 'Lay down the arms, quit suicide blast and then ask for vote. If you gain sufficient vote, form a government.' You cannot reach what you want by resorting to violence. If Taliban leaves arms, breaks ties with Al-Qaeda, they will be able to take advantages of the Afghan constitution, and have the same constitutional rights as any other Afghan," Jayhoon said.
Pakistan should seek strategic deepness in Afghanistan peacefully
The ambassador said that they demanded to live in peace with neighbor country Pakistan.
"They should not interfere in our internal affairs. If they are looking for strategic deepness in Afghanistan, they should seek it in a friendly way," he said.
Jayhoon also said that if both countries did not discomfort each other, the peace could establish in the region easily.
At least 28 people have been killed and 60 injured after two attackers fired on passengers with explosions taking place at a control point
Two bombs have exploded at Istanbuls Ataturk International Airport with witnesses claiming of gunshots, 1 person has been killed.
Turkish Prime Minister Yildirim says gov't shares the grief of Russian pilot's family but no compensation will be paid
Turkish president extended condolences to family of Russian pilot whose warplane was downed by Turkey last November in letter to Kremlin Monday
Turkish security forces seize narcotics and tons of explosives materials in ongoing SE Turkey operation against PKK
"We express our regret. We say that we are sharing the pain felt by those who lost loved ones. We say that we will pay compensation, if needed.", Yildirim said.
Hospital and house construction in the occupied Palestinian territory will be undertaken by Turkey under the new deal with Israeli government, Turkish PM says
Turkish army responds after two shells fell in Hatay province
Diplomatic sources say Mevlut Cavusoglu will attend July meeting of regional Black Sea body in Sochi
'Foreign and US tourists have been explicitly targeted,' State Dept. says
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Monday that Turkey and Israel were to normalize relations
Relations between two countries have been marked by ups and downs since creation of Jewish state in 1948
Parliament agrees Turkish troops will continue serving as UN peacekeepers in Lebanon for another year
Local Election Board says no congress can be held until Ankara court has its say
Turkish PM says reconciliation deal with Israel will be signed Tuesday