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Turkey holds first talks with the Taliban in Kabul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 objective.

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

He mentioned the dual suicide bombs that killed at the least 110 folks, together with 13 US troops, exterior the airport over the last days of an pressing evacuation effort on Thursday confirmed the significance of figuring out the main points of how the air hub shall be secured.

Erdogan mentioned calm ought 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 may be laborious to elucidate given uncertainty across the attainable mission.

“They mentioned: ‘We’ll make sure the safety, you use the airport’. We have now not made any choice on this difficulty but,” Erdogan mentioned.

“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 at the least 350 troopers and greater than 1,400 folks from Afghanistan for the reason that Taliban takeover this month.

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

Erdogan, who beforehand criticised the Taliban because it swept by the nation en path to Kabul, mentioned Turkey was aiming to finish evacuations and troop withdrawals as rapidly as attainable.

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