Afghanistan 'looking forward' to boosting ties with Turkiye

Afghanistan's message at Antalya Diplomacy Forum is that diplomacy should be used for cooperation, says Amir Khan Muttaqi.

Afghanistan 'looking forward' to boosting ties with Turkiye

Afghanistan's acting foreign minister on Saturday met with the top diplomat of Turkiye on the sidelines of Antalya Diplomacy Forum.

Speaking to reporters after his bilateral meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Amir Khan Muttaqi said his country sought to enhance and strengthen its relations with Ankara.

Muttaqi thanked Ankara for "giving the opportunity" to participate in the event, being held in the southern resort province of Antalya, as well as for the "humanitarian assistance" that Turkiye provided Afghanistan.

Turkiye has sent three separate special trains to Afghanistan this year carrying emergency supplies.

Under the umbrella of the state-run Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), at least 11 humanitarian organizations from Turkiye contributed to the delivery of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, which is facing an extreme food crisis and is in dire need of assistance.

"Our message at this forum was that diplomacy should be used for cooperation with one another, and not to test the strength of one another," stressed Muttaqi.

Describing the forum as "very successful," the Afghan official said he gave the message that "diplomacy should not be a necessity of weak countries.

"Diplomacy should also be used by great powers for cooperation with one another," he said.

"We also gave our message to the world, especially the United States, that we should end the use of options of pressure tactics against Afghanistan and let us employ the options of cooperation between one another," he noted.

He went on to comment on the current situation in his country, saying that "after four decades of war, Afghanistan currently has exemplary peace, we have a central government, the threat of Daesh has been eliminated."

"It is stable and peaceful."

He also said there were around "10 million students attending primary and secondary education and 442,000 men and women attending and attaining higher education."

"We want positive relations with the world," said Muttaqi, underlining Afghanistan's intent also to become an "economic hub" for the world.

The Taliban regained power in August 2021 amid the withdrawal of foreign forces and collapse of the US-backed government. The interim administration, however, has yet to gain international recognition.

While international funding remains largely suspended, billions of dollars of the country's assets abroad, mostly in the US, are also frozen.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), half the population now faces acute hunger, over 9 million people have been displaced, and millions of children are out of school.