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Erdogan: Turkey ready to support Afghanistan's recovery

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, Turkey on August 19, 2021 [Emin Sansar/Anadolu Agency]

Turkey is ready to help Afghanistan recover from years of conflict and strife if the nation also looks out for its own unity and solidarity, the president said, reports Anadolu Agency.

What concerns us as Turkey is that Afghanistan should recover swiftly … We are ready to provide all kinds of support for the unity and solidarity of Afghanistan as long as we get the same approach from it,

Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters traveling with him following his weekend mini-Balkans tour.

He said 40 million people in the war-torn country can no longer bear this burden.

"We have provided all sorts of support to Afghanistan, both infrastructure and superstructure, over the last 20 years. However, the Taliban caused some very serious damage in northern Afghanistan," Erdogan said, speaking of the years of conflict, and voiced concerns over the disadvantages of a future Taliban government.

He added that while the Taliban's statements so far are moderate, Turkey will carefully monitor its next steps. "We should definitely observe the Taliban's stance on becoming a state and governing a state," he added.

US withdraws from Afghanistan, where is this heading to...- Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

US withdraws from Afghanistan, where is this heading to…- Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Erdogan also touched on last week's terrorist attack outside the Kabul airport by Daesh-K, also known as Daesh-Khorasan, killing at least 170 people including 13 US soldiers, and leaving dozens wounded, and on the challenges of operating Kabul airport, a task Turkey long provided and may do again.

On the Taliban's proposal that Turkey would run the international airport while the Taliban ensures security, Erdogan asked: "If you take over the security and there is another bloodbath there, how are we supposed to explain this to the world?"

"It's no easy task. Nearly 200 people died just after we discussed all this," he added.

Noting that Turkey is still fighting the terror group Daesh, Erdogan said the US has not concluded a fight against the terror group anywhere, "not even in Iraq," rebuffing former President Trump's claims to have obliterated 100% of the so-called Daesh "caliphate."

He voiced hope that the Biden administration will continue the fight from where the US left off, and destroy Daesh-K.

READ: Top Turkish officials discuss Afghanistan with Qatari counterparts

Turkey can take all the steps possible for the women in Afghanistan to have the same rights as in Turkey, but conditions in the two countries cannot be evaluated the same way, said Erdogan

The Taliban seized control of most of Afghanistan in lightning advances, including the August 15 capture of Kabul, with top government officials fleeing.

Compounding the crisis, two suicide bombers detonated bombs outside the Kabul airport on Thursday, in an attack claimed by terror group Daesh.

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