Even if US supports Turkey in Afghanistan, it's still unlikely to maintain peace in the region - Expert | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

24 July, Saturday

Even if US supports Turkey in Afghanistan, it's still unlikely to maintain peace in the region - Expert

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If the US asks Turkey to continue its presence in Afghanistan, they should ensure it with comprehensive and significant support, said Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan.

Speaking at a news conference in Brussels, Belgium after a NATO summit, Erdogan touched upon the necessity of taking measures by NATO alliance to strengthen peace and stability in Libya, Syria and Afghanistan, and bring prosperity to these regions.

Turkish President talked about the importance of the further activities on the strengthening of security in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of NATO forces. 

According to him, Turkish army could continue its mission to struggle for peace and stability in Afghanistan, but Ankara needs broad and firm support for this. 

“Turkey needs the US support in diplomatic, logistical and financial matters if the Turkish troops in Afghanistan are asked not to leave the country,” said Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Is there any possibility for Turkey to prolong its mission in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of NATO forces? How will the Taliban react to this? Will the US provide Turkey with the military and financial support in terms of its peace mission in Afghanistan?

Further to clarifying this issue, Eurasia Diary took comments from Irfan Kaya Ülger, Turkish expert on international relations and professor at Kocaeli University.

No description available.

According to him, after the end of NATO period in Afghanistan, Taliban will launch a strong offensive attack on the Kabul government and take hold of many areas in the country.

 “The 20 years of NATO mission in Afghanistan will end by September 2021. The US announced that Washington will withdraw its troops from the region. Despite the withdrawal of NATO forces, the tension and conflict continue in Afghanistan between the central government, which has stood by NATO support, and the Taliban. We observed that the Taliban have launched successful offensive attacks and taken control of the huge areas in Afghanistan. In these cases, after the departure of NATO troops, the US will demand that Turkish army stay in Afghanistan and contribute to peace and security in this country, especially in Kabul airport,” expert said.

“To date, the negotiations over the issues of reconciliation and cooperation between the parties to conflict in Afghanistan have not yielded positive results.  The meeting planned to be held in Istanbul has been cancelled. I believe that under these circumstances, it is not a rational option for Turkey to remain in Afghanistan and undertake the mission of providing partial or general stabilization,” he added.

Irfan Kaya considered that the remaining of Turkish army in Afghanistan will not be enough to ensure peace and stability in the region.

“Even if the US provides Turkey with military, financial and logistical support, I do not think that it will have caused the positive consequences for peace and security in the country.  Therefore, neither the Kabul government nor the Taliban have come to common understanding on the future of the country,” he stressed.

 Another important issue here is that Erdogan said in his speech that Pakistan and Hungary can take part in the peace mission with Turkey in Afghanistan. We know that Pakistan shares borders with Afghanistan, and Pakistan as a regional country has strong and solid influence in this country.

But, why has Erdogan included Hungary in this issue? It is very interesting what ties does Hungary have with Afghanistan?

Turkish expert pointed out that despite Pakistan having been active in Afghanistan since 1979, it has failed to contribute to peace and stability in Afghanistan.

He also said that Pakistan is a country that partially supports and directs the Taliban.

 “There are many presumptions that the Pakistani Secret Service organized the Taliban. On the other hand, there is a disagreement between these two countries due to the Durant Line border issue. Under these circumstances, Pakistan is unlikely to contribute to the peace in Afghanistan,” he noted.

“On the other hand, I do not see it possible for Hungary to contribute to peace in the region. Even if Pakistan and Hungary announce that they are ready to take part in the peace mission with Turkey in Afghanistan, it will not change the situation in the region.  Afghanistan has been in conflict and armed clashes for forty years. It is impossible to establish peace in this country in the short term. I believe that the Turkish mission in this country, after the withdrawal of its allies, may be limited to ensuring the security of the Kabul airport,” he added.

As for Erdogan's statement on the Taliban, Turkish expert said that his statement should be evaluated as Turkey’s support to the dialogue on the establishment of peace and security in Afghanistan. But he added that the Taliban, which supports the violence and represents Islam in the traditional line, cannot be adhering to the modern and peaceful means to resolve the long-term problems in the region. 

“I believe that Erdogan’s statement on the Taliban should be evaluated as Turkey’s support to the solution of problems through the peaceful dialogue. Turkey could take responsibility to mediate in the dialogue to reach consensus on the future of the country. However, we see that the leaders of the Taliban do not want to see Turkish soldiers to stay in Afghanistan,” he added. 

by Yunis Abdullayev. 


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