Turkey plans to talk with Taliban over Kabul airport

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jul 19, 2021, 06:11 PM(IST)

File Photo: Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan leaves after the Global Refugee Forum at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Erdogan and US President Joe Biden have discussed the issue of Turkey securing Kabul airport. Taliban calls such an arrangement 'reprehensible'.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Turkey was planning talks with Taliban about Kabul airport. The hardline group has refused to let Ankara run the airport after US troops withdraw.

"God willing, we will see what kind of talks we will have with the Taliban and see where these talks take us," Erdogan told journalists in Istanbul. 

Kabul airport is key to allowing countries to retain diplomatic presence in Afghanistan after US troop withdrawal. Turkey has been negotiating with US defence officials over its offer to help secure and run the airport.

Erdogan and US President Joe Biden discussed the issue in their first face-to-face meeting on the margins of a NATO summit in June.

Turkey maintains hundreds of troops in Afghanistan, but a Turkish official told AFP that they were "not combat forces".

Ankara and Washington have been discussing issues such as financial and logistical support for Turkey's mission from the United States and NATO, officials said.

Last week, the Taliban said that Turkey's offer "reprehensible".

"We consider the stay of foreign forces in our homeland by any country under whatever pretext as occupation," the group said. 

Erdogan opined that the Taliban was not adopting "the right approach"

"In our view, the Taliban's approach right now is not how a Muslim behaves to another Muslim," he said, urging the insurgent group to stop its occupation. 

"We call on the Taliban... to show the world as soon as possible that peace prevails in Afghanistan."

Turkey plans to talk with Taliban over Kabul airport


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Turkey was planning talks with Taliban about Kabul airport. The hardline group has refused to let Ankara run the airport after US troops withdraw.

"God willing, we will see what kind of talks we will have with the Taliban and see where these talks take us," Erdogan told journalists in Istanbul. 

Kabul airport is key to allowing countries to retain diplomatic presence in Afghanistan after US troop withdrawal. Turkey has been negotiating with US defence officials over its offer to help secure and run the airport.

Erdogan and US President Joe Biden discussed the issue in their first face-to-face meeting on the margins of a NATO summit in June.

Turkey maintains hundreds of troops in Afghanistan, but a Turkish official told AFP that they were "not combat forces".

Ankara and Washington have been discussing issues such as financial and logistical support for Turkey's mission from the United States and NATO, officials said.

Last week, the Taliban said that Turkey's offer "reprehensible".

"We consider the stay of foreign forces in our homeland by any country under whatever pretext as occupation," the group said. 

Erdogan opined that the Taliban was not adopting "the right approach"

"In our view, the Taliban's approach right now is not how a Muslim behaves to another Muslim," he said, urging the insurgent group to stop its occupation. 

"We call on the Taliban... to show the world as soon as possible that peace prevails in Afghanistan."

(With inputs from agencies)

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