Turkey says Taliban wants it to run Kabul airport

Turkey says Taliban wants it to run Kabul airport

Erdogan said a meeting with the Taliban lasting more than three hours took place at the Turkish embassy in Kabul

A Taliban fighter stands guard at the site of the August 26 twin suicide bombs, which killed scores of people including 13 US troops, at Kabul airport on August 27, 2021. Credit: AFP Photo

The Taliban has asked Turkey to operate Kabul airport but no decision has been made yet, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday.

“The Taliban have made a request for us to operate Kabul airport. We have not yet made a decision on this matter,” he told a news conference at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport before leaving for a trip to Bosnia.

He added: “We will make a decision after the administration (in Afghanistan) is clear.”

Also read: Why India should engage the Taliban

Erdogan said a meeting with the Taliban lasting more than three hours took place at the Turkish embassy in Kabul, without saying when the meeting took place. “If necessary, we will have the opportunity to hold such meetings again.”

The president added that the evacuation of Turkish troops from Kabul, which began on Wednesday, was ongoing. He condemned Thursday's attacks.

The prospect of Turkey operating Hamid Karzai International Airport after the withdrawal of NATO troops was first raised in June but seemed to have passed when the Taliban took Kabul on August 15. 

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