Turkey | Erdogan: Taliban proposed Turkey run Kabul airport

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said upon Taliban’s proposal, Turkey may end up running the airport in the Afghan capital Kabul, with the Taliban themselves providing security, but a decision is still pending.

“The Taliban have proposed that we operate Kabul airport. We have not yet made a decision on this issue,” Erdogan said on Friday at a press conference in Istanbul before taking off to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Erdogan condemned the terror attack and stressed that such attacks by Daesh show the grave threat the terror group poses to both the region and the world.

He said the heinous attack has made it clear how important security in Afghanistan is, and that the state’s priority for now is the evacuation of Turkish citizens.

Despite the attack, the evacuation of Turkish troops as well as civilians continues and will be completed as soon as possible, the president added.

Erdogan said the Turkish Embassy in Afghanistan has been shifted to the military zone inside Kabul airport, where a first meeting between Turkish officials and the Taliban lasted for over three hours.

If necessary, more meetings will be held, and Turkey wants to hold negotiations in a cordial manner, he added. The president said the meetings are the only way to work on expectations and negotiate, to practice diplomacy.

Just after the Taliban took Kabul, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also proposed working together with Turkey on Afghanistan, said Erdogan.

“Of course, we have frequent meetings with the chancellor as you know, we meet, we review roadmaps,” he added.

“But of course it’s clear that they are too late in some things. The decision to work with Turkey was late. While everyone was leaving Afghanistan, we stayed in Kabul. We continued the process there in the most ideal way.”

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