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.
A Greek court refused Turkey's demand to extradite illegal organization member Huseyin Fevzi Tekin, who was detained in his home with ammunition in Athens.
Kurdish politician and writer Yasar Kaya, founder of the Kurdish nationalist Democracy Party, returns from 21-year exile in Germany to Turkey.
Thursday's newspapers mainly cover President Abdullah Gul’s comments on Turkey's August presidential election, the ruling AK Party’s meeting on that contest, high-level talks between Twitter and Ankar, plus a ferry disaster in South Korea.
Turkey's main opposition party called for a parliamentary inquiry to look into imprisonment of some 300 members of Turkish Armed Forces.
Energy cooperation between Turkey and Iraq’s Kurdish regional government is stated clearly to both the U.S. and the government in Iraq, says Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Turkish government sponsors a number of charity and development projects in the Gaza Strip.
Ankara's current efforts towards streamlining trade are aimed at fully widening scope of business with Iran, says Turkish Development Minister at Tehran forum.
The massacre of Muslims in the Central African Republic has been compared to the genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda.
The 'Invest in Italy' conference in Istanbul heard of a huge discrepancy in Turkish-Italian investment.
The boat is said to have been illegally transporting migrants to Greek islands.
Turkey, which last year was ranked 16th, skipped ahead of Canada, which has had to cut back its military spending.
The subject is one of a series of issues ranging from increased gas supply and gas price revisions to nuclear power that Turkey and Russia are set to take up in talks in Ankara next week
HAVELSAN, which is partly owned by a Turkish Armed Forces-linked foundation, has a logn history in training defense and communications industries in Turkey and other countries in military software systems.
In addition to motion-detectors that can work day and night across a vast area, these systems are less risky and more cost effective than Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), otherwise known as drones.
The US Embassy in Ankara said allegations against the ambassador Ricciardone 'do not reflect the truth'.
Turkish ruling AK Party MPs voice support for PM Erdogan's election bid.