Statement by Turkey on “The situation in Afghanistan” at the General Assembly

Feridun H. Sinirlioğlu 27.11.2019
Mr. President,

We are pleased that the negotiations led by Germany on the draft resolution on the situation in Afghanistan has been successfully completed. We thank all delegations that have exerted genuine efforts to this end. We are pleased to be among the co-sponsors and look forward to its adoption by consensus.

As in previous years, this resolution underscores the progress achieved in Afghanistan and it also constitutes a solid manifestation of the international community’s unanimous support to the people and Government of Afghanistan in addressing challenges the country faces.

Mr. President,

On September 28, presidential elections took place in Afghanistan for the fourth time since 2001.

We commend all the efforts put into the election process, amid all technical challenges and security threats. We are pleased that despite some incidents, the elections were held in a relatively secure atmosphere. Although the results are yet to be officially announced, the entire process demonstrated once again Afghan people’s commitment to democracy.
Following the conclusion of the election process, there will be a need to redouble efforts for the peace process. We are glad that over the past months the efforts to achieve peace have gained momentum. This, in itself, is a welcome development.

Turkey supports every initiative that would lead to ending violence. However, these initiatives should be closely coordinated and complement each other. We hope that necessary lessons will be drawn from previous talks. We should be careful not to grant premature legitimacy to Taliban.

At a critical juncture of political, security and economic transformation in Afghanistan, the importance of regional cooperation and commitment becomes all the more relevant for steering the region into a zone of peace, stability and prosperity. The region has demonstrated on various occasions its readiness to resolve its own problems, and to transform common problems into areas of mutual benefit. We welcome all bilateral and multilateral dialogue and cooperation efforts to this end.

We consider Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process as a significant platform to strenghten our cooperation for political dialogue and consultation.
This process, which was initiated in Istanbul back in 2011 remains instrumental to address current challenges with a spirit of responsibility, solidarity and ownership.

Throughout the year, Senior Officials Meetings and other gatherings have enabled us to exchange our views and concerns on regional matters in a transparent manner. Our experience in the Process has demonstrated that focusing on our common interests helps this unique forum of cooperation in reaching its potential. Therefore, we believe Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process could be better used in this regard. One immediate objective could be to utilize this platform for facilitating peace efforts as well as post-peace initiatives. Upcoming Ministerial Conference to be held on December 9 in Istanbul will certainly be an important opportunity for a substantial discussion on these matters.

Mr. President,

Afghan people and in particular women cannot sacrifice the achievements they made at important costs over the past 18 years. 2.5 million of the 8 million students enrolled in Afghan schools are girls. Ensuring women’s participation in elections, peace negotiations, and overall engagement in governance and government will help preserve gains that we have made to date.
All our efforts towards the empowerment of girls and women should not be wasted.

Afghan people deserve a better future. It is our joint responsibility to help Afghanistan to reach this goal. Turkey will not spare any effort towards this end.

Thank you.