Joint Statement by Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister and Turkish Deputy Undersecretary for the Middle East and Asia-Pacific on the First Meeting of the Afghanistan-Turkey Bilateral Political Consultations

Kabul – 11 May 2016

Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister H.E. Hekmat Khalil Karzai and Turkish Deputy Undersecretary for the Middle East and Asia-Pasific H.E. Űmit Yalçin convened the first meeting of the Afghanistan-Turkey Bilateral Political Consultations on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Political Consultations signed between the Afghan and Turkish Foreign Ministers on 24 December 2015.

Both sides discussed bilateral and regional cooperation and steps to strengthen Afghan-Turkish partnership. Deputy Foreign Minister Karzai and Deputy Undersecretary Yalcin paid tribute to the sacrifices of the Afghan people, the Republic of Turkey and the entire international community in promoting a peaceful, secure, democratic, and prosperous Afghanistan.

The Turkish side strongly condemned the recent horrendous terroristic attack in Kabul. The Afghan side also condemned recent terrorist attacks in Turkey. Recognizing the need to put an end to decades of conflict that resulted in the death of thousands of innocent civilians, the Turkish side expressed its support to a results-based Afghan-owned, Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process.

To help Afghanistan sustain the economic gains of the last 15 years, both sides expressed their wish to accelerate Afghanistan’s economic integration within its region as a means to bolster job creation, economic growth, and regional stability.

The two sides will continue cooperation to accomplish the goals of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process, Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA), and the implementation of Lapis Lazuli Route. The two sides also expressed their willingness to increase the number of cultural exchanges and the people-to-people relations.

Deputy Foreign Minister Karzai and Deputy Undersecretary Yalcin emphasized the importance of the NATO summit in Warsaw on 8-9 July and the Brussels conferences on Afghanistan on 4-5 October 2016. The two sides agreed to continue consultations in mobilizing support from regional actors for Afghanistan’s stability and future development.

Deputy Foreign Ministers Karzai and Deputy Undersecretary Yalcin underscored that cooperation between Afghanistan and Turkey continues to be based on mutual respect and shared interests, historical brotherly relations and affirmed their intent to continue these Bilateral Political Consultations to further strengthen this partnership. To that end, it was agreed that the specific date for convening the Second Meeting of the Afghanistan-Turkey Bilateral Consolations in Ankara will be coordinated through diplomatic channels.