US Defence Secretary, Turkish counterpart discuss cooperation on Afghanistan

Washington [US]: US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin had a telephonic conversation with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar on Afghanistan and discussed opportunities to strengthen defence ties.
Defence Department spokesperson Lt Col Anton Semelroth said in a statement, “Secretary of Defense Lloyd J Austin III spoke by phone today with Turkish Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar to discuss opportunities to increase and strengthen our longstanding defence ties.” Both shared “perspectives on regional issues, including the shared threat from terrorism”.
The Secretary reaffirmed the great value the US places on its defence relationship with Turkey.
Semelroth further said in the statement that it was “demonstrated most recently by the strong cooperation between both countries on Afghanistan”.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Turkish ambassador to Afghanistan met the Taliban’s second acting deputy prime minister and assured of strengthening bilateral ties between Kabul and Ankara, according to an official statement.
Ambassador Cihad Erginay and the Taliban’s Abdul Salam Hanafi “emphasised the strong bonds between Turkish and Afghan people and reaffirmed their commitments to further bolster the relations between our brotherly nations,” during the meeting, the Turkish Embassy said in a tweet on Wednesday.
Erginay had also met with the Taliban’s acting commerce minister Nooruddin Azizi in a bid to boost bilateral trade.

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