Turkish President Erdogan noted the importance of supporting Afghanistan to prevent terrorist organisations from regrouping in Afghanistan.

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during the 8th Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process to convene under the theme of Peace, Partnership, Prosperity in Istanbul, Turkey on December 9, 2019.
President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during the 8th Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process to convene under the theme of Peace, Partnership, Prosperity in Istanbul, Turkey on December 9, 2019. (AA)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the international community on Monday to boost investments in Afghanistan during a "sensitive" time the country has been going through.

Erdogan’s remarks came at the 8th Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process convened at Dolmabahce Palace under the theme Peace, Partnership, Prosperity.

"Afghanistan has been going through a sensitive period. As the international community, we need to boost the investments we have been making in Afghanistan for the last 18 years," Erdogan said.

Erdogan stressed that a significant number of the problems faced by the people in South Asia were arising from outside of their borders and said that people in this region had to struggle with the negative impacts of the developments that had "nothing to do with them.”

He also emphasised regional cooperation to tackle problems the South Asia region has been facing.

"I believe that the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process is also very useful and effective in providing regional support for peace," he said.

He said the Istanbul Process was providing an exemplary regional cooperation model that enables regional problems to be dealt with in solidarity.

The Turkish president noted the importance of supporting Afghanistan to prevent terrorist organisations from regrouping in the country.

He added that Turkey would do its best to eradicate the Daesh terror group in Afghanistan.

Underlining the significance of the private sector, Erdogan said it will play a key role in the economic and social development of Afghanistan adding that Turkey welcomes the steps accordingly.

He recalled the NATO meeting in London last week and said member countries reiterated their commitments to continue contributing to security in Afghanistan.

Erdogan called on NATO countries to continue their support for Afghanistan, and vowed that Turkey would maintain its support for the country in economic, commercial and social fields as well as in increasing the capacity of the country’s army and the police forces.

Erdogan said while the international community was committed to its pledges to Afghanistan, it is important that the Afghan government also fulfils its obligations.

"We welcome the positive steps taken by the Afghan government in the implementation of the Mutual Accountability Framework adopted in Geneva last year," Erdogan said.

The Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process — a regional initiative of Afghanistan and Turkey launched in 2011—  has two chairs with Afghanistan as the permanent chair, and a co-chair from among the member states that shifts each year.

"The process aims to promote regional security, economic and political cooperation centred on Afghanistan through dialogue and confidence-building measures," according to the organisation's website.

Source: AA