Long-term strategic deal with Turkey on the cards
KABUL (PAN): Afghanistan and Turkey have evinced a keen interest in signing a long-term strategic cooperation agreement aimed at taking bilateral ties to new heights, President Hamid Karzai’s office said on Friday.
The agreement on entering the deal came during a meeting between Karzai and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmad Daud Oglo at the Presidential Palace in Kabul late on Thursday.
Karzai thanked Oglo for representing Turkey at Thursday’s Heart of Asia conference, calling the regional ministerial gathering a successful continuation of the Istanbul Process that was set in motion last year.
A statement from the Presidential Palace said the two sides decided to ask their foreign ministries to prepare the draft agreement for signing before the UN General Assembly session in September.
Afghanistan has already inked strategic cooperation pacts with the US, Britain, India, Germany, France and Italy. It intends to conclude a similar pact with China in the near future.
On Thursday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced the world body’s support for the agreements Afghanistan recently signed with a number of foreign countries.
The visiting minister said Turkey wanted to dissolve its reconstruction teams in Maidan Wardak and Jawzjan provinces and hand over their buildings to the Afghan government.
Oglo said the move was in deference to Kabul’s statement that the ISAF-led reconstruction teams in the country were acting as a parallel government.
With a view to further strengthening bilateral relations, he announced Turkey would open consulates in two large provinces of Afghanistan. However, the statement did not name the provinces.
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