Turkey continues Afghan support

Turkey continues Afghan support

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey continues Afghan support

‘No peace in Asia was possible until peace was established in Afghanistan,’ Davutoğlu says in speech at International Contact Group for Afghanistan. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Turkey has pledged to continue its contributions in the training of Afghan security forces even after the end of the transition period set for 2014, as the International Contact Group (ICG) for Afghanistan holds a meeting in Ankara.

“We want to make a commitment to continue our training activities [of Afghan security forces] after 2014 … without any conditions,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said in his opening speech at the meeting on Oct. 19.

“No peace in Asia was possible until peace was established in Afghanistan,” he said. Ankara’s mission is to establish peace and security in Afghanistan, Davutoğlu said, adding that if this mission was not achieved and stability was not assured, then peace, security and stability in the international system would not be achieved either.

The upcoming two years should be used efficiently and Afghanistan’s future should be secured while arrangements are made for post 2014, when NATO’s mission and transition period would end, the minister also said.

Contact group reviewed commitments

Under the framework of International Security Assistance Forces, Turkey has contributed to the training of more than 12,000 Afghan security personnel, a Turkish diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News. In line with this role, Turkey plans to train nearly 15,000 Afghan police. Currently, 500 Afghan police cadets are being trained in the camps in Sivas. Turkey sponsored an Afghanistan military high school, while hundreds of Turkish officers currently serve as instructors to the Afghan police and army.

The contact group member countries discussed international support for transition planning and an Afghan-led political process.

The meeting reviewed both Afghan and international commitments on security and development that were agreed on at the Chicago NATO summit and the Tokyo Conference, the diplomat said. At the Tokyo Conference in July, Afghanistan committed to economic and governance reforms. U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Marc Grossman was among the meeting’s participants and the meet was chaired by Germany.