NATO in Afghanistan vital for safety: Turkish minister

NATO in Afghanistan vital for safety: Turkish minister

Turkish Defense Minister Isik during Kabul visit urges Afghanistan and Pakistan to cooperate for sake of peace in region

By Mohammad Fahim Abed

KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) – NATO's presence in Afghanistan is important for the country's safety, the Turkish defense minister said during his visit to the Afghan capital Kabul Sunday.

Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani as part of his official visit to Afghanistan.

“Turkey, at every chance, keeps calling on all international parties involved not to leave Afghanistan alone in its critical situation. We are glad to see our efforts get positive response,” Isik said.

“For the sake of peace in the region, Afghanistan and Pakistan should cooperate with each other; NATO’s presence in the country is important for safety and Turkey continues to back Afghan peace in line with NATO,” he said.

Isik said Turkey’s vision for Afghanistan was to see the country as a center of big construction projects, to see peace and stability, where everyone lives in solidarity with its neighboring countries,

“In this vision, Turkey’s ties with Afghanistan last long,” he said .

“Turkey and Afghanistan friendship dates back to a long time and Turkey always appreciate Afghans’ close support during World War I,” the minister said.

Ghani appreciated Turkey’s support to Afghanistan, saying: “Turkey is seriously assisting Afghanistan through military training. [Some of] our troops have been trained in Turkey, some Turkish military officials are also training our military staff in Kabul.”

Isik also met his Afghan counterpart Abdullah Khan as well to discuss military cooperation.

*Anadolu Agency Correspondent Ahmet Sait Akcay contributed to this report from Ankara.

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