Davutoglu: "Afghanistan belongs to the Afghans"
At an international conference yesterday on the future of war-torn Afghanistan, Turkey pledged its support for the transfer of power to the Afghan government and a plan to reintegrate insurgents into Afghan society. "The mere fact that the international community is meeting in Afghanistan is a testament to our fundamental premise: Afghanistan belongs to the Afghans," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said at the conference, meeting in the Afghan capital Kabul. Seeking a political solution to the escalating violence, the Afghan government presented a plan on the reintegration of Taliban and other armed forces during the conference. "Peace and reintegration is an inseparable component of enhanced Afghan ownership. I welcome the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Plan presented today to the Kabul Conference," Davutoglu said. "An Afghan-led and steered peace and reconciliation process should culminate in enhanced national unity and solidarity throughout the country. As such, the process should be taken forward in an exclusive and, to the extent possible, transparent manner, taking into account the traditional social fabric of Afghan society." Davutoglu also announced that Turkey will contribute $2 million to the UN to support preparations for Afghanistan's parliamentary elections this September. "The upcoming parliamentary elections will help consolidate nationwide unity and solidarity by enabling the representation of all sectors of society," he said. Davutoglu also called for increased regional cooperation, saying it would help stability in Afghanistan, and stressed the importance of Turkey-Afghanistan-Pakistan tripartite summits for regional cooperation.