President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said Turkey has held its first talks with the Taliban in Kabul, adding that Ankara was still assessing the Islamist group’s offer to run the Afghan capital’s airport.
Turkey had been planning to help secure and run Kabul’s strategic airport, but on Wednesday, it started pulling troops out of Afghanistan — an apparent sign of Ankara’s abandoning this goal.
In wake of the #Kabul airport attack, the evacuation of Turkish troops, as well as citizens, remains ongoing, will be completed as soon as possible, says Turkish president @RTErdogan pic.twitter.com/H3ZhPi4jg0
— Atiq Ur Rehman Sial (@AtiqSial) August 27, 2021
Erdogan said the Taliban now wanted to oversee security at the airport while offering Ankara the option of running its logistics.
But he said the suicide bombs that killed at least 85 people, including 13 US troops, outside the airport during the last days of urgent evacuation effort Thursday showed the importance of knowing the details of how the air hub will be secured.
“They said: ‘We will ensure the security, you operate (the airport’. We have not made any decision on this issue yet,” Erdogan said.
“We will make a decision once calm prevails.”
© AFP with inputs from GVS