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    Turkey Could Become Part of Moscow Format on Afghan Settlement - Russian Envoy

    © Sputnik / Andrey Stenin
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    ANKARA (Sputnik) - Turkey is an important player in Afghanistan and could be included in the Moscow format of the Afghan settlement, Russia's Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said Friday.

    During his current visit to Ankara, Kabulov, who is also the head of the Second Asian Department at the Russian Foreign Ministry, met with his Turkish counterpart Rıza Hakan Tekin to discuss the peace process in Afghanistan.

    "We noted that we perfectly understand the influence and significant role of Turkey in this region and see it as an important player in the Afghan settlement," Kabulov told Russian reporters.

    "We welcome the strengthening of cooperation between Turkey and the Moscow format. Turkey and a number of regional states have the full right to be part of this format. With them we will solve [the Afghan problem] faster and better," Kabulov added.

    READ MORE: Number of Afghan Refugees in Turkey Hits 27,000 in 1st Quarter of 2018 — Reports

    The envoy also said that Washington expressed readiness to launch a dialogue about practical cooperation with Moscow in combating Daesh and al-Qaeda terrorist groups* in Afghanistan.

    "…today Mr. Khalilzad said that the relevant competent US experts have asked him to inform their Russian colleagues that they are ready for substantive discussion of practical cooperation with Russia in combating IS (Daesh) and al-Qaeda. We take it as a sign that we have been heard, let the professionals take care of this now," Kabulov told Russian journalists in the Turkish capital of Ankara.

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) and al-Qaeda are terrorist groups banned in US, Russia and many other countries.


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