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Turkey undecided about supporting Taliban to run Kabul airport

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - AUGUST 21: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY - MANDATORY CREDIT - "MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEFENCE OF TURKEY / HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) Turkish soldier takes care of a baby as people waiting for evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 21, 2021. ( TUR National Defence Ministry - Anadolu Agency )
Turkish soldier takes care of a baby as people waiting for evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 21, 2021 [TUR National Defence Ministry - Anadolu Agency]

Turkey has not made a final decision on a Taliban request for support to run Kabul airport after foreign forces withdraw over security concerns and uncertainty there, President Tayyip Erdogan said today, adding talks were still underway.

Officials told Reuters this week that the Taliban had asked Turkey for technical help to run the airport but demanded that Ankara's military pull out by a 31 August deadline. The military began evacuations on Wednesday.

"The Taliban have made a request regarding the operation of the Kabul airport. They say, 'We'll ensure security and you can operate it'. But we have not made a decision yet because there is always a possibility of death and such things there," Erdogan told a news conference before departing for a visit to Bosnia.

Turkey had proposed that it guard and run Kabul's airport after the United States and other NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan, however this was rejected by the Taliban.

"Turkey was part of NATO forces in the past 20 years, so as such, they should withdraw from Afghanistan on the basis of the Agreement we signed with US on 29th Feb 2020," Taliban spokesman in Doha Suhail Shaheen said in June.

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AfghanistanAsia & AmericasEurope & RussiaInternational OrganisationsNATONewsTurkeyUS
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