Says Ankara still holding talks to make Kabul airport operational
There is no need to rush in recognizing the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday, TRT World reported.
“There is no need to rush,” he said. “This is our advice to the entire world. We should act together with the international community.”
Ankara, he said, was still holding talks about making Kabul’s strategic airport operational.
In a wide-ranging television interview with Turkish broadcaster NTV, Cavusoglu sounded a cautious note about Turkey’s future ties with the Taliban.
He said Afghanistan’s new government needed to be “inclusive”, adding that women and a range of ethnic groups should be given ministerial posts.
On Monday, the Taliban claimed total control over Afghanistan, saying they had won the key battle for the Panjshir Valley.
Adopting a tone similar to one adopted by the European Union at a meeting held last week.
Turkey has been holding talks with the Taliban in Kabul, where it still has a diplomatic presence, about the conditions under which it could help operate the airport at the Afghan capital.
Cavusoglu said Turkey was working with Qatar and the US on the terms under which the airport could reopen to regular flights for delivering humanitarian aid, evacuating stranded civilians and re-establishing diplomatic missions in Kabul.
But he said security remained a key sticking point, stressing that commercial flights could never resume until airlines — and their insurers — felt that conditions were sufficiently safe.
“In my view, the Taliban or Afghan forces could ensure security outside the airport,” Cavusoglu said.
“But inside, there could be a security company trusted by the international community or all other companies,” he said. “Even if airlines, including Turkish Airlines, are keen to fly there, insurance companies would not allow it.”
Earlier, the Turkish foreign minister had also reiterated this cautious approach.
“Turkey would act in coordination with the international community on its position on the recognition of the new government in Afghanistan,” he had said before the Taliban took control of Kabul in July this year.
Also in July, Ankara was in talks with Washington to work out financial, political, and logistical details involved in deploying Turkish troops at Kabul Airport, which serves as Afghanistan’s gateway to the world.
Although it has no combat troops in country, Turkey has always been supportive of NATO’s military operations in Afghanistan and Ankara had more than 500 troops in Afghanistan as part of NATO’s noncombat mission, maintaining positive relations with all ethnicities in the war-torn country. In particular,
Ankara considers Abdul Rashid Dostum, an Uzbek warlord and former Afghan vice president, to be a close ally.