Speaking at a joint press conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Ankara will not recall the Turkish troops who are present in Afghanistan until Kabul demands them to do so.
Erdogan said, "Afghanistan has been hurt seriously and we will continue to help them heal these wounds.”
“Our armed forces have been in Afghanistan for security purposes from the beginning and now, as you know, we have a [training] mission there,” he continued.
“We will continue obeying the chronological schedule decided by our Afghan brothers in accordance with the negotiations. We will recall our soldiers when Afghanistan demands."
In December 2014, Turkish military completed its 13-year combatant operations in Afghanistan which was part of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
However, the training, advising and assistance missions have been continuing in the region as the Turkish parliament approved on January 6 the deployment of Turkish troops to Afghanistan for two more years in a bid to support a new NATO mission called Resolute Support (RSM).
Erdogan said "Turkey is the greatest supporter of the Afghan national unity government, Afghanistan's problems are our problems, and their success is our success."
In response, Afghan President Ghani praised Turkey’s effort in his country, saying “Turkish soldiers have been standing shoulder-to-shoulder with us.”
“Once again, we would like to thank you as you have stood by Afghan people,” he continued.
Erdogan also touched on the political, economic, commercial and cultural relations between the two countries as Ghani appreciated investments coming in from Turkish investors.
"Cooperating with our old friend, eternal brother Afghanistan is very important for Turkey," Erdogan stated adding that the trilateral talks between Afghanistan, Turkey and Pakistan also has great importance.
"I hope that the efforts to establish permanent peace and stability bring success," Erdogan said.