Turkey to hold talks with Taliban: Erdoğan

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Recalling that Turkey and the United States have been carrying on negotiations to operate and secure the Kabul airport in Afghanistan, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on July 20 said Ankara is ready to conduct talks with the Taliban.

“There are some issues that the Taliban are uncomfortable with. By negotiating this process with the Taliban, just as the Taliban made some of the talks with the United States, the Taliban should hold these talks with Turkey much more comfortably,” Erdoğan told reporters after offering Eid prayers in Turkish Cyprus.

“Because Turkey has nothing wrong with its… Since there is nothing wrong with them, I think that we can better discuss these issues with them and get along,” he added.

Referring to crucial Afghan peace talks in the Qatari capital Doha, Erdoğan said that “this process will proceed” to talks with Turkey on the issue of the Kabul airport.

“I think we will make good use of this process. There are other alternatives [as well], and we are currently working on these alternatives,” he added.

“Imperial powers entered Afghanistan; they have been there for over 20 years. We also stood by our Afghan brothers against all imperial powers,” the president stated.

Now there is a new era,” Erdogan said, adding, “Three main authorities are seen here: NATO, the U.S. and Turkey.”

Noting that the U.S. announced its decision to withdraw from the region, Erdoğan said that Washington wanted Kabul Airport to be operated by Turkey as it had been doing so for several years.

“We are currently looking at this positively,” he said, adding, but Turkey has “some conditions.”

“First, the U.S. will be on our side at the point of diplomacy, in diplomatic relations,” Erdogan explained. “Secondly, [the U.S.] will mobilize their means for us at the logistics point and will transfer whatever power they have to Turkey in terms of logistics.”

Erdoğan said that Turkey would need “financial and administrative” support during this process.

The Taliban advances in the war-torn country amid the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country. U.S President Joe Biden said that his country’s military mission in Afghanistan would conclude on Aug. 31.

Ankara has been running the military and logistic operations of the Kabul airport for six years as part of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission.

Hurriyet Daily News

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