Turkey asks Taliban to take advantage of peace offer

Turkey asks Taliban to take advantage of peace offer

SAM Staff,

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has said that Turkey strongly supports the Afghan government’s efforts for peace in the country, and called on the Taliban to take advantage of the opportunity and engage in comprehensive dialogue with the Afghan government.

Speaking at  a joint press conference on Sunday with CEO Abdullah Abdullah, Yildirim said Turkey has suggested a trilateral meeting of officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey to discuss the peace process in Afghanistan.

“We support the peace offer made by the Afghan government to the Taliban, the Taliban should not lose this opportunity and they must enter into peace talks. Turkey strongly supports the peace process in Afghanistan. Turkey has also got experience in this respect, we will not allow insurgents to disrupt peace. We also support the trip of Pakistani prime minister to Kabul and we are working to convene the trilateral meeting,” said Yildirim.

Meanwhile, Abdullah said that he has held talks with Yildirim on a range of issues such as security, culture and economic cooperation and on the fight against terrorism.

“Turkey has been a close friend and partner of Afghanistan and has played a significant role in economic development, security and other sectors,” said Abdullah.

On Afghan-Turkey defense cooperation, the Turkish prime minister said: ” We will continue our cooperation in military and defense field”.

“We have good capacities for strengthening relations and cooperation in the field of trade, and we have a common vision in fighting terrorism,” added Abdullah.

“We have a common view with Turkey about fighting terrorism and the Turkish government supports Afghanistan’s strides for peace,” said Abdullah.

Abdullah also confirmed that talks were held about First Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum who has been living in Turkey for almost a year.

Dostum flew to Turkey following allegations lodged by former Jawzjan governor Ahmad Eshchi of having been abducted, tortured and sexually abused on the orders of Dostum.

“Definitely talks were also held on the issue of first vice president and all issues were discussed,” said Abdullah.

According to Abdullah, President Ashraf Ghani will hold talks with the Turkish prime minister regarding Dostum.

This visit comes amid increasing reports of Turkey looking to deport hundreds of undocumented Afghan refugees.

Turkish officials have expressed deep concerns over a surge in illegal migrations and said last week that as many as 500 undocumented Afghan refugees try to enter Turkey every day.

The Presidential Palace (ARG) meanwhile said in a statement that Ghani held talks during the course of the day with the Turkish prime minister and discussed a wide range of issues including the expansion of bilateral relations, terrorism, the peace process, and cooperation regarding education and cultural exchanges.

According to the statement, Ghani thanked the Turkish government for its supports to Afghanistan in recent years in areas of security, economy, education and land management.