Statement by Turkey on “The situation in Afghanistan” at the Security Council

Feridun H. Sinirlioğlu 10.09.2019
Mr. President,
I thank SRSG Yamamoto, Under-Secretary Generals Voronkov, Fedotov and Permanent Representative of Indonesia Ambassador Djani for their briefings and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan Ambassador Raz for her statement. I also thank the Secretary General for his report.
This meeting is held at yet another critical juncture for Afghanistan.

Only 18 days are left to the presidential elections. They are supposed to help consolidate our efforts to achieve security and stability in the country.

However, we are once again faced with an increasing number of terror attacks by Taliban. Civilians, especially women and children are the victims of this alarming, vicious campaign. Weakening of the security situation might derail the election process and put the country into yet another cycle of violence.

This cannot bring peace and stability to Afghanistan. The future of Afghanistan should be based on democracy and rule of law, not on violence. The international community must back Afghan people to hold the elections peacefully and successfully.

Turkey strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. As a Framework Nation through NATO’s Resolute Support Mission, we continue to support Afghanistan on defense, security and law enforcement matters, including trainings and assistance to the Afghan national security forces.
Mr. President,

While we are only three weeks away from the scheduled elections, it is unclear how far we are from achieving a truly lasting peace in the country. At this critical moment, we expect all parties to act responsibly and seize the opportunity to bring the forty years old war to an end.

We closely follow the information coming from Doha talks and recent announcements by President Trump with regard to calling off the negotiations between the US and Taliban.

Turkey welcomes all efforts that aim to reduce violence and support peace and security in Afghanistan.

As we repeated many times in this chamber, Afghan people made achievements at important costs and these cannot be easily sacrificed.

Our efforts towards the empowerment of vulnerable groups, in particular women and girls should not be wasted.

Peace in Afghanistan could be sustainable only through genuine reconciliation among all segments of the Afghan society.
Our efforts and cohesion in our messages will have immense impact on the way in which the next decade will unfold. Therefore, it is important that we refrain from the drawing down of the international community’s commitment to Afghanistan at an immature stage that would be incompatible with the situation and requirements on the ground. We cannot afford leaving Afghanistan until joint achievements are irreversible.

Mr. President,
At a time of transformation, the importance of regional cooperation and commitment becomes all the more relevant.

The momentum that has been achieved through the Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process is worthy of attention. Both in the Senior Officials Meeting in June and in the Joint Regional Conference on Counter Terrorism and Counter Narcotics in July, the need for a cohesive regional approach in tackling transboundary challenges was underlined.

Increasing cooperation in the Heart of Asia will be for the benefit of Afghanistan. It will also constitute a useful instrument for the region as a whole to realize its full potential in economic development, investments and trade.

The Istanbul Process remains the most comprehensive regional platform for dialogue. In close consultation with the Afghan Government, we are planning to hold the Ministerial Conference of the Process by the end of the year.

We sincerely hope that this mechanism can be used for contributing to the existing peace efforts.
Mr. President,
Negotiations for a resolution renewing the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan arrive at a timely moment, when change and transformation dominate the agenda of the country. We believe that the comprehensive role assumed by UNAMA in assisting the Afghan people for achieving a bright future is of utmost importance.

We will once again acknowledge its role in the organization of upcoming elections and the strengthening of electoral reform efforts by providing technical assistance and capacity-building.
Turkey will continue to support UNAMA’s activities and efforts in this regard. We hope that its mandate will be renewed to enable the Mission conduct its activities without any hindrance.

Mr. President,

The international community’s continuing support remains to be vital for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan that can effectively serve the needs of its people. We will maintain our solidarity with the people of Afghanistan as well as our support in the regional and international fora.
Thank you.