Turkey’s Presence At Kabul Airport Necessary: Atmar
Turkey’s willingness to secure the Kabul airport after the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan is a move that is necessary for the presence of the diplomatic community in the country, Afghan Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar said on Sunday.
Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_“We welcome Turkey’s willingness to sustain the capabilities and the facilities as well as the high-level technological arrangements for the airport,’’ Atmar told the Anadolu news agency on the sidelines of Antalya Diplomacy Forum. The move would be necessary for the “continuous presence of diplomatic community,’’ Atmar added.
Turkey has offered to take responsibility for securing Kabul International Airport following the US departure from Afghanistan later this year. US President Joe Biden discussed the issue with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip #Erdoğan at their meeting on the sidelines of the #NATO summit earlier this month, but the details of an agreement are yet to be finalized.
“Turkey has made a bold and very much commendable initiative,” according to Atmar, who added that Kabul would “fully” support the move. “Turkey has an extremely important role both at a regional and global level,” the Afghan foreign minister said. Turkey stations 500 soldiers in Afghanistan, the largest remaining foreign military contingent, and has played a key non-combat role in NATO missions in the country since 2003.
Turkey’s proposal has been rejected by the Taliban. Last week, a #Taliban spokesman said Turkey should withdraw its troops from Afghanistan under the 2020 deal for the pullout of foreign forces.