The Afghan Embassy in Turkey on Monday celebrated the 100th anniversary of the country’s independence at a reception with the attendance of Turkey's vice president, defense minister, and chief of General Staff, among other top officials.
Speaking at the event in the capital Ankara, Vice President Fuat Oktay said that he is happy to celebrate Afghanistan’s centenary with the people of the country, whom Turkey sees as friends and brothers.
Oktay also condemned a Daesh-claimed weekend bombing of a wedding in Afghanistan which claimed at least 63 lives.
“Once again I condemn all kinds of treacherous terror attacks which lack any conscience, language, or religion, and express my condolences to all the Afghan people,” said Oktay.
“As a country which has been combating terrorism for many years, we continue our struggle at home and abroad with determination,” Oktay said, wishing success to Turkish soldiers and security forces now carrying out Operation Kiran against “the bloody terrorist group PKK.”
Turkish security forces on Monday launched an operation against the PKK terror group in the country’s east and southeast.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.
Afghanistan’s ambassador to Turkey also praised Turkish-Afghan ties, which date back more than a century.
“Turkey was one of the first countries to recognize Afghanistan’s independence from the British Empire,” said Abdul Rahim Sayedjan.
“Turkey has played a vital role in providing support to the people of Afghanistan in areas such as humanitarian assistance and reconstruction of the country,” he added.
Sayedjan went on to say that Afghanistan is still struggling to protect its independence.
He also said the doors of negotiation and peace were always kept open in the struggle against the Taliban.
“We look forward to direct peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government in the near future,” he said.
“However, we cannot jeopardize our significant achievements over the last 20 year on issues such as education, health, urbanization, media, women's participation in business and human rights in these talks,” he added.