Turkey, US to continue work on Afghanistan

UNITED NATIONS (Agencies): US and Turkey’s top diplomats have said they would continue to work on Afghanistan after a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. “We’re so grateful to Turkey for its very strong partnership in Afghanistan and the work that we continue to do together there. Lots to talk about there on Afghanistan going forward, but also many other regional issues, from Syria to the Caucasus,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a joint press briefing with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
“And Turkey and the United States stand together as strong partners and NATO Allies and look forward to covering a lot of ground in the time we have today,” Blinken added. Cavusoglu, for his part, thanked Blinken “for the excellent cooperation on Afghanistan, in many areas.”
“Of course, we will continue working on Afghanistan together, we will continue our cooperation… And while we continue this cooperation, we will do our best to strengthen our bilateral relations work,” he said. Britain will call for China and Russia to agree a coordinated international approach to prevent Afghanistan becoming a haven for militants, according to a statement by British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss at the United Nations.
Foreign ministers from Britain, China, Russia, the United States and France will meet with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres during the UN General Assembly in New York. Britain, which is currently coordinating the so-called P5 group of permanent United Nations Security Council members, will use the meeting to call for greater cooperation to improve international security, with a particular focus on Afghanistan.
The Taliban’s rapid takeover of Afghanistan following the withdrawal of United States, British and NATO troops last month, has raised fears the country could once again be used as a training ground for Islamist militants. “If we want to avoid Afghanistan becoming a haven for global terror then the international community – including Russia and China – needs to act as one in its engagement with the Taliban,” Truss said in a statement ahead of the meeting. The Taliban have promised they will not let Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden plotted the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks when they were last in power, again become a safe place for groups planning to strike the West.