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Foreign interferences must end in Afghanistan: Ansari

October 16, 2011 16:03 IST

Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Saturday underlined the need to end "foreign interferences" in Afghanistan, saying a lasting solution to the turmoil has been based on a sovereign choice of the government in the country.

Returning from a six-day visit to Turkey, which he described as "very serious and substantive and satisfying", Ansari also said the government in Ankara was in different ways trying to bring conflicting groups together and they have an old relationship with Afghanistan.

The Afghanistan crisis had come up dominantly during Ansari's discussions with the top Turkish leadership in Ankara on October 11.

Ansari said that there are two parts of the Afghan question related to the peace process -- that which has be initiated by Afghanistan itself and the other about international interferences which must come to an end.

"There has been regretfully for this reason or that reason a great deal of foreign interference. No solution of Afghanistan problem can be stable unless this foreign interference comes to an end first," Ansari said while replying to a volley of questions on the Afghan crisis.

He said the upcoming conferences on Afghanistan in Istanbul (to which India has been invited) as well as in the German capital Bonn this year will have to address both sides of the problem.

"..first in which the Afghanistan has to take lead and the other in which international committee has to commit itself to the creation of structures and commitments which will eliminate foreign interference in affairs of Afghanistan in its territory," Ansari underlined.

Asked whether he was referring to US interferences, he said, "All foreign interferences. I am saying in all directions. Everybody will need to cooperate with Afghanistan".

Ansari underlined that solution to the Afghan problem has to be a sovereign choice of the government in Kabul and by Afghanistan itself.

The vice-President said that as far as starting the peace process within the country is concerned, India is fully supportive of the plan laid down by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

He stressed that India is of the view that whoever participates in it has to accept the constitution of the country and discussions will be within the framework of that constitution.

Acknowledging Turkey's efforts in resolving the Afghanistan issue, Ansari said they may be doing it through different frameworks, including the NATO framework because they are represented there.

"We have our own perception. I briefed the Turkish in great detail what we think can be done. They have invited us to the conference in Istanbul after which there will be another conference at Bonn," Ansari said.

India was not invited for the last Istanbul conference on Afghanistan.

On the issue of cooperation between India and Turkey in counterterrorism, he said: "They have suffered terrorism, we suffered terrorism. We both suffered from the same disease and therefore want to get rid of it."

Ansari dismissed questions when asked whether Turkey may play a role in bettering Indo-Pak relations. "We can talk to Pakistan in five different languages. So there is no need for anybody to play a role...We can talk to each ohter in Hindi, English, Punjabi, Urdu and may be in few other languages as well. There is no place for anybody to play a role between us," he said.

On the talks held in Turkey, the Vice-President said there is a serious desire on the part of Ankara to have a substantive relationship with New Delhi.

He said "serious and substantial" issues were discussed between him and Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"With the foreign minister, there was a very detailed resume of Turkish thinking on some of these issues," Ansari said.

Ansari said his visit was decided as the government felt there was a need to engage with Turkey on both bilateral economic exchanges and foreign policy issues.

Anand Mishra On Board Special Aircraft
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