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.
"We are taking steps towards trading with Russia, China and Iran with local currencies," he said, ahead of a trip by Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim to Russia for meetings on Tuesday.
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