British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw says he foresees Turkey - NATO's only Muslim member country - having a key role in a post-war Afghanistan.
Secretary Straw met with Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem in Ankara today (Thursday) during a one-day visit aimed at strengthening the anti-terrorism coalition.
In an interview on private Turkish television (NTV), Mr. Straw said Turkey's broad knowledge of countries in the Central Asian region and its close ties with them will ensure Ankara a "very strong role" in the process of re-building Afghanistan.
After meeting with the British official, Foreign Minister Cem said that Turkey may have a peacekeeping role in Afghanistan once the fighting there has ended.
Regarding Iraq, Foreign Secretary Straw said that for now, the only military action on the U-S led coalition's agenda is in Afghanistan. He added that he has seen no evidence associating Iraq with the al-Qaida terrorist network or the Taleban.
Ankara has expressed concern that any strikes against Iraq may cause regional destabilization that could affect Turkey.