No threat to Turkmenistan from Afghanistan — Afghan foreign ministry

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KABUL (TCA) — Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Sebghat Ahmadi on January 16 said there is no threat to any country from Afghan soil, as he explained the country’s stance on a recent precautionary measure taken by Turkmenistan’s Defense Ministry, Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews reported.

RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service reported with reference to a Turkmen Defense Ministry source and accounts by local citizens that authorities in Turkmenistan had launched a campaign to register army reservists — nearly all men under 50 — amid concerns about militants in neighboring Afghanistan.

An RFE/RL correspondent in the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, said that men under 50 had been summoned to local conscription commissions for medical examinations in recent weeks.

The Afghanistan-Turkmenistan border is 804 km long, starting from Gulran district in Herat in western Afghanistan to Shortepa district in Balkh province in the north of the country. Some parts of the provinces sharing the border with Turkmenistan are insecure, including some areas in Shortepa district.

“We assure all neighboring countries that no country will be threatened from Afghanistan’s territory. Our (Afghan) forces are fighting terrorism in Afghanistan and terrorism is being defeated,” Ahmadi explained.

Analysts suggest that the move by Turkmenistan “will not have” an impact on the security of Turkmenistan’s borders with Afghanistan.

“I don’t think it will have an impact because the terrorist groups who are in Afghanistan and whom we are fighting are a global threat,” Afghan military analyst, Mirza Mohammad Yarmand, said.

Sergey Kwan

TCA