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Taliban delegation holds meeting with Turkey’s foreign minister

Mevlut Cavusoglu says Ankara again urged formation of inclusive government

SAMAA | - Posted: Oct 14, 2021 | Last Updated: 4 days ago
Posted: Oct 14, 2021 | Last Updated: 4 days ago

A Taliban delegation called on Turkey’s foreign minister on Thursday soon after they arrived in Ankara from Dohar, Qatar.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that recognizing the Taliban and engaging with it were two separate issues.

Turkey, he said, reiterated the need for the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan and voiced its expectations regarding the security of Kabul airport.

“They asked us for humanitarian aid and the continuation of investments there,” Çavuşoğlu said. The Turkish side, he said, once again shared its advice on girls’ education and women’s employment in business life.

“The Taliban leadership said they would give their best support if they (Afghan migrants) wanted to return to their country,” he said.

The Taliban say they want international recognition. They warn that weakening their government will affect security and spark an even bigger exodus of migration from the country.

When asked whether there was contact with the interim Taliban government in Afghanistan, Çavuşoğlu said: “There is a meeting at the ambassador level. We have not been there yet, they have not come. They need humanitarian aid, food, medicine and winter is coming. We are talking about these needs.”

The delegation of Afghanistan’s interim Taliban administration arrived on Thursday in Ankara from Doha.

The visit comes a day after Çavuşoğlu told reporters that he and ministers of other countries planned to visit Kabul for talks with Taliban.

The visiting team is led by Amir Khan Muttaqi, the acting foreign minister, and “will hold talks with senior Turkish officials on issues of mutual interest”, acting Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abdul Qahar Balkhi said.

Balkhi also said that the invitation had been extended by Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.

Balkhi said both sides would discuss ways and means for improving bilateral relations, trade, humanitarian aid, migration and air transport issues.

This will be the first high-level contact between Turkey and the new administration in Afghanistan after the Taliban took power on August 15.

The visit comes after Taliban leaders held a series of meetings with the United States, 10 European nations and European Union representatives in Doha, Qatar, this week.

On October 12, Acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said we are having positive meetings with representatives of other countries.

He said that we want positive relationships with the whole world.

EU spokesperson Nabila Massrali said during the meeting, the two sides will discuss access to humanitarian aid and women’s rights, among other issues.

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