Turkey Reaffirms Support of Afghanistan War

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (L) shakes hands with his Afghan counterpart Rangin Dadfar Spanta during a joint press conference in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, June 13, 2009.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (L) shakes hands with his Afghan counterpart Rangin Dadfar Spanta during a joint press conference in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, June 13, 2009.

KABUL (AFP) — Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu wrapped up a visit to Afghanistan on Saturday pledging more support for the nation including during Turkey’s presidency of the UN Security Council.

Davutoglu met President Hamid Karzai during his visit to Afghanistan, where Turkey has around 730 soldiers in a NATO-led military force, as well as his Afghan counterpart Rangin Dadfar Spanta.

“We will continue our support to Afghanistan,” he told a press conference with Spanta. “We will support Afghanistan during our presidency of the UN Security Council,” he said through a translator.

Davutoglu’s office announced Thursday that Turkey plans to host two international gatherings in the coming months aimed at boosting support for conflict-torn Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The first, planned for September, would bring together the Friends of Pakistan group which aims to help Pakistan’s economic development as a means of stabilising the restive country, it said.

In November, Turkey would also host a meeting of countries neighbouring Afghanistan to discuss how to help the war-ravaged country, he said, adding that the details of both gathering were yet to be outlined.

Turkey, a NATO member, has had close ties with both Afghanistan and Pakistan and has since 2007 hosted three meetings between their presidents to encourage them to overcome their differences and cooperate against Islamist extremists.

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