Turkey offers to secure Afghan airport after US, NATO forces

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  • Turkey is seeking “financial, political and logistical support” from the US and the NATO to carry out the fraught task

  • US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to Reuters, said Ankara was asking for too many US “enablers” for the mission

Amid the ongoing Taliban advances, Turkey has offered to guard Afghanistan’s airport in a move that is seen to be risky for Ankara. 

Turkey is seeking “financial, political and logistical support” from the US and the NATO to carry out the fraught task. 

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Monday that Ankara’s offer was contingent on support from the allies.

“We intend to stay in Afghanistan depending on conditions. What are our conditions? Political, financial and logistical support. If these are met, we can remain at Hamid Karzai International Airport,” his ministry quoted Akar as saying.

Turkish and US officials have discussed possible requirements for the mission, some of which Washington has agreed to address, one Turkish official said, 

“Following the United States’ decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, Turkey has made an offer to ensure the security of Kabul airport. In this framework, there are talks underway with NATO and the United States,” the Turkish official told Reuters.

US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to Reuters, said Ankara was asking for too many US “enablers” for the mission.

NATO leaders will discuss Afghanistan at a summit next Monday, where Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will meet Joe Biden for the first time since the US president took office.

 

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