Turkey, US to work on Afghanistan, Caucasus

Turkey, US to work on Afghanistan, Caucasus

Turkey, US to work on Afghanistan, Caucasus

Top Turkish and American diplomats have vowed to continue to work on Afghanistan in the aftermath of Taliban’s takeover of the country in the Central Asian country and focus on joint efforts for stability in the Caucasus after the Azerbaijan-Armenia war in Nagorno-Karabakh ended.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Secretary of State Antony Blinken met for a one-hour meeting in New York on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting late Sept. 21.

“We’re so grateful to Turkey for its very strong partnership in Afghanistan and the work that we continue to do together there. Lots to talk about there on Afghanistan going forward, but also many other regional issues, from Syria to the Caucuses,” Blinken said at the beginning of the meeting.

“And Turkey and the United States stand together as strong partners and NATO Allies and look forward to covering a lot of ground in the time we have today,” he added.

Çavuşoğlu, for his part, thanked Blinken “for the excellent cooperation on Afghanistan, in many areas.”

“Of course, we will continue working on Afghanistan together, we will continue our cooperation... And while we continue this cooperation, we will do our best to strengthen our bilateral relations work,” he stressed.

After the meeting, on Twitter Çavuşoğlu said, “Discussed with my colleague Secretary Blinken the latest developments in Afghanistan, Syria and the Caucasus. Will continue our dialogue with the United States on regional issues and common areas of cooperation at all levels.”

According to a senior U.S. State Department official, Blinken and Çavuşoğlu discussed the ways to de-escalate tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan following the end of war in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

“The question now becomes whether, with U.S. support, with other Minsk Group countries’ support, with Turkey’s support, we can do more to facilitate a de-escalation of tensions between the two, both along the border, with regard to remaining detainees, with regard to remaining mines, and then take some – see them – help them take some small steps which might lay the path towards a larger peace and reconciliation process,” the official said.

“So, the Secretary made clear to Turkey, which has been very much involved in this and is a neighbor, that we are prepared to be helpful if we can be. We are also at a level below the Secretary having bilateral meetings with the Armenians and the Azerbaijanis this week and making the same offer there,” the official added.

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