Turkey holds first talks with the Taliban in Kabul

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says discussions below approach as Turkey decides on a Taliban request to assist run Kabul’s airport.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday stated Turkey held its first talks with the Taliban in Kabul, including Ankara was nonetheless assessing the armed group’s provide to help in working the worldwide airport.

The Turkish chief stated discussions have been held at a army facility on the Kabul airport the place Turkey’s embassy is quickly stationed.

“Now we have held our first talks with the Taliban, which lasted three and a half hours,” Erdogan instructed reporters. “If obligatory, we could have the chance to carry such talks once more.”

NATO member Turkey had a whole bunch of troops in Afghanistan as a part of the alliance’s mission, and had been liable for the safety of the airport for the previous six years.

Responding to home criticism over Turkey’s engagement with the armed group, Erdogan stated Ankara had “no luxurious” to face idly by within the risky area.

“You can’t know what their expectations are or what our expectations are with out speaking. What’s diplomacy, my pal? That is diplomacy,” Erdogan stated.

Getting ‘sucked in’

Turkey had been planning to assist safe and run Kabul’s strategic airport, however on Wednesday it began pulling troops out of Afghanistan – an obvious signal of Ankara abandoning this aim.

Erdogan stated the Taliban now needed to supervise safety on the airport, whereas providing Ankara the choice of operating its logistics.

He stated the dual suicide bombs that killed a minimum of 110 individuals, together with 13 US troops, exterior the airport over the past days of an pressing evacuation effort on Thursday confirmed the significance of realizing the small print of how the air hub shall be secured.

Erdogan stated calm needs to be restored in Kabul earlier than making a choice on the airport, including there was a danger of getting “sucked in” to one thing that will be arduous to elucidate given uncertainty across the potential mission.

“They stated: ‘We’ll make sure the safety, you use the airport’. Now we have not made any determination on this subject but,” Erdogan stated.

“We’ll decide as soon as calm prevails.”

Erdogan’s feedback got here as US forces serving to to evacuate Afghans determined to flee Afghanistan braced for extra assaults whereas racing to finish evacuations earlier than the end-of-the-month deadline set by President Joe Biden.

Ankara has thus far evacuated a minimum of 350 troopers and greater than 1,400 individuals from Afghanistan for the reason that Taliban takeover this month.

Turkey has praised what it described as average statements by the Taliban because it captured Kabul on August 15.

Erdogan, who beforehand criticised the Taliban because it swept by way of the nation en path to Kabul, stated Turkey was aiming to finish evacuations and troop withdrawals as shortly as potential.