TURKEY

Turkey hails landmark presidential polls in Afghanistan

The Turkish Foreign Ministry praised Saturday's presidential polls in Afghanistan for their relative "secure atmosphere".

"We hope that the elections will provide a new momentum for efforts towards a lasting and just peace," said Turkish Foreign Ministry Sunday in a statement following Saturday's presidential elections.

The statement expressed Turkey's hope for an administration which would embrace all segments of Afghan society.

"We hope that the candidates will exercise common sense and restraint until the Independent Election Commission announces the final results," it added.

It reiterated Turkey's continuing support for building permanent democracy, peace and stability in "friendly and brotherly" Afghanistan.

The landmark presidential polls -- only the fourth since the fall of the Taliban in December 2001 -- ended on Saturday with some incidents of violence reported from across the war-torn country.

During the day, at least five people were killed and over 40 wounded in election-related violence, security officials told Anadolu Agency.

The top election body will announce the preliminary poll results on Oct. 19, while final results -- in which a total of 15 candidates vied for the top seat -- will be announced on Nov. 7.

Among the front-runners are incumbent President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and his power-sharing Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and former Mujahideen leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

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