Statement by Turkey Agenda Item 39 "The Situation in Afghanistan at the 56th Plenary Meeting of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Feridun H. Sinirlioğlu 20.11.2017
Mr. President,

I would like to thank the Chief Executive of Afghanistan His Excellency Mr. Abdullah Abdullah for his statement.

We welcome his presence at this debate today.

We are pleased that the consultations on the draft resolution on the situation of Afghanistan, which we have before us today, has come to a successful completion. We thank all delegations that have exerted genuine efforts to this end.

Every year, this resolution not only underscores the progress achieved in the country, but also constitutes a solid manifestation of the international community’s enduring and unanimous support to the people and Government of Afghanistan in addressing the challenges the country continues to face.

We look forward to the adoption of this draft resolution once again by consensus and we are pleased to be among its co-sponsors.

Mr. President,

I would like to take this opportunity to share some of our views on the situation in Afghanistan.

First, I would like to emphasize the need to consolidate the achievements of the last 16 years in the country. Afghanistan still needs the international community's support in this regard. It is vital to live up to the commitments made.

We must also bear in mind that, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation efforts are key to lasting peace and security in the country.

Moreover, amid the fragile security situation, the National Unity Government should be even more inclusive and focus on the fight against terrorism. Needless to say, a more inclusive approach will solidify the impact of reforms, the political stability, and will improve the security situation. This approach will be in line with the international community's efforts for a stable, secure, and prosperous Afghanistan.

Mr. President,

Turkey will continue to support the Afghan Government to realize its security and development agenda as long as our help is needed. We will continue our bilateral assistance in the security and development areas, and contribute to NATO’s efforts as the Resolute Support Mission Framework Nation responsible for the Kabul area.

Let me also note that Turkey’s official development aid to Afghanistan between the years 2002-2016 has exceeded 1 billion Dollars and encompassed 850 projects.

Our vision for Afghanistan is a peaceful and stable country, which enjoys good and cooperative relations with its neighbors while being at the center of major regional projects. In this respect, we welcome the signing of the Transit and Transport Cooperation Agreement (Lapis Lazuli Route Agreement) in Ashgabat, on 15 November 2017.

Turkey will also continue its contributions to Afghanistan on multilateral platforms, such as through Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process.

Mr. President,

The Afghan people deserve a better future. Our collective and continued commitment will renew the hopes of the Afghan people in this path. It is our joint responsibility to accompany and assist them towards this end.

Thank you.