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Taliban proposes operation of Kabul airport to Turkey, Erdoğan announces

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated on Friday that discussions are underway between Turkey and the Taliban, as the latter requested help in running Kabul airport.

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On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that, at the Taliban’s proposal, Turkey may end up running the airport in the Afghan capital Kabul, with the Taliban themselves providing security, although a decision was still pending. The Turkish president expressed that the Taliban have proposed that Turkey should operate Kabul airport, though they have not yet made a decision on this issue.

At a press conference in Istanbul, Erdoğan condemned the terror attack conducted by the ISIS-K terrorist group, the Afghan affiliate of Daesh/ISIS, at the airport and stressed that such attacks show the grave threat the terror group poses to both the region and the world. The president further stated that the heinous attack has made it clear how important security in Afghanistan is, and that their current priority is the evacuation of Turkish citizens in the country.

The ISIS-K has claimed responsibility for the attack that claimed the lives of at least 90 people, including 13 US soldiers.

Turkey had announced that its mission in Afghanistan was transported to the military zone inside Kabul airport, where the first meeting between Turkish officials and the Taliban lasted for over three hours. Erdoğan underlined that, if necessary, more meetings will be held, and that Turkey wants to hold negotiations in a cordial manner.

Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel also proposed working together with Turkey on Afghanistan, according to Erdogan, in a statement just after the Taliban took Kabul.

Currently, there are some 300,000 Afghan immigrants both registered and unregistered in Turkey, according to the Turkish Interior Ministry. Stressing that Turkey cannot handle another migration wave, Erdoğan said in the press conference that it has built walls along its borders with Iran, Iraq, and Syria.

The Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan has led to thousands of Afghans fearing retribution and uncertainty trying to flee the country.

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