Statement by Ambassador İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey, in response to the address by Ján Kubiš, United Nations Special Representative for Afghanistan and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan at the 998th Meeting of the Permanent Council

Tacan İLDEM 30.04.2014

Thank you Mr. Chairperson,

I join the previous speakers in welcoming Ambassador Jan Kubis, United
Nations Special Representative for Afghanistan and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, back to the Permanent Council and thank him for his
comprehensive presentation. It gave us valuable insight about the state of play
in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the Presidential and Provincial Council
Elections.

I shall begin by congratulating the State and the people of Afghanistan for
the sensible attitude and political maturity they displayed during these
elections. They were organized on schedule, on 5 April, in spite of numerous
provocations and attacks by circles whose objectives are clear. The
participation rate, estimated at around 60% according to initial reports, with
important share of women voters, confirmed Afghan people’s determination to rise
and stand on their own feet. Moreover, the organization of the elections at an acceptable
standard testifies to the capacity reached by Afghan public institutions and
Afghan security forces. As such, it has given out a welcome and promising sign
with regard to the future of the country. We also wish to pay tribute to the
important role President Karzai’s wisdom and leadership played in these
positive developments.

Mr. Chairperson,

Afghanistan is passing through a transition process fraught with risks and
challenges. Tackling them requires determined, sustained collective efforts. The
firm establishment of long-lasting stability, peace and prosperity in the
country, and the shoring up of Afghan institutions’ capacities to modern
standards depend on the maintenance of international interest and assistance,
as well as the promotion of regional ownership.

I wish to use this opportunity to underline once again that the
withdrawal of international forces from the country will not mark the end of
international commitments to Afghanistan. On the contrary, it should mark the
beginning of a new period of international assistance under a new format. This
new chapter should be geared to assisting the Afghan authorities assume full
control of the country.

One of the suitable formats and frameworks for these collective efforts
with enhanced regional ownership and cooperation have been put forward by the
“Heart of Asia” Ministerial Conference that was convened on June 2012 in Kabul.
The Conference was an important milestone with all the participants repeating
their commitment to working together to support Afghanistan.

On the other hand, we will also continue encouraging regional
cooperation through the Afghanistan-Pakistan-Turkey Trilateral Summit Process,
whose 8th
summit we hosted in Ankara, on 12-13 February. At this last
meeting, the participants converged on the need to improve cooperation between
the relevant Afghan and Pakistani institutions.

As for the OSCE’s engagement with Afghanistan as a partner for
cooperation, we are pleased to note that Afghanistan already makes good use of
various OSCE instruments, such as Border Management Staff College in Dushanbe.
We consider the participation of Afghan officials in the courses and activities
offered by the College as an indispensable feature of our Organization’s added
value in the region. The Patrol Programming and Leadership Project of the OSCE Office
in Dushanbe is yet another example of fruitful cooperation between Afghanistan
and its neighbours in Central Asia. We encourage further cross-border
cooperation in the region. It would be essential to strengthen OSCE’s
engagement with Afghanistan in the period ahead.

By way of conclusion, I wish to re-iterate Turkey’s will to remain in solidarity with friendly
and brotherly Afghanistan in our joint quest for the country’s security,
stability and welfare. We will work in close cooperation with the new Afghan
administration reflecting the choice of the Afghan people, just as we did with
the previous ones.

Thank you.