Turkey to mediate between Afghanistan, Pakistan

Türkiye Materials 17 September 2008 17:24 (UTC +04:00)

Turkey has launched a diplomatic initiative to bring together Afghanistan and Pakistan again, diplomats said.

Diplomats said that Turkey had taken action to bring together the two countries to revive the "Ankara Declaration" process and discuss their problems, reported Anadolu Agency.

Within the scope of the initiative, Feridun Sinirlioglu, the deputy undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, has been holding talks in Afghanistan since the beginning of this week.

Sinirlioglu conveyed Turkish President Abdullah Gul's special letter to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and exchanged views on a new trilateral summit to take place among Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The deputy undersecretary is expected to visit Pakistan after completing talks in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has responded positively to Turkey's proposal to hold a trilateral summit, and is expected to suggest a date for the summit soon.

The trilateral summit is planned to be held in coming months.

Upon the invitation of former Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Afghan President Hamid Karzai visited Ankara in 2007 to discuss their problems.

A trilateral summit was held in the Turkish capital among the three presidents. Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan also participated in the summit.

At the end of the summit, the presidents released the "Ankara Declaration" which expressed their strong will to maintain dialogue and cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan in every area, and raise the welfare of Pakistani and Afghan people.

The declaration is important for it was the first joint statement signed by the leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In the declaration, parties agreed to strengthen bilateral relations, good neighborly relations, respect to each other's territorial integrity and not to intervene in internal affairs of each other.

The parties also decided to set up a joint working group, comprised of high-level representatives of the three countries, to monitor developments and ensure coordination in confidence-building measures.

Pakistan and Afghanistan also agreed to facilitate return of Afghan refugees in Pakistan to their homeland.