Turkey's Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has pledged that his country will help Afghanistan build an army and a police force.
Mr. Ecevit made the comment to reporters at his office in Ankara (Wednesday). He said Afghanistan must have a national army in order for it to be able to defend its freedom.
As a NATO ally, Turkey has strongly supported the U-S-led global war on terrorism, opening its air bases and airspace to U-S warplanes. It also has offered to deploy special forces to Afghanistan to support U-S-led troops there.
Mr. Ecevit said Turkey must be given a role in shaping a new Afghanistan, in exchange for contributing peacekeepers. He did not say how many soldiers Turkey plans to send.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem was in Afghanistan Monday to re-open Ankara's mission in Kabul. He said his country also plans to set up a police academy in Afghanistan.