Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday asked the United States to provide financial, logistical and diplomatic support so that Turkey can agree to run and guard the International Hamid Karzai Airport in Kabul after other foreign troops leave the country.
Recently, Ankara offered to deploy troops to Kabul airport after NATO fully withdraws, but the decision has faced opposition by the Taliban.
“First of all, the United States will take sides with us in terms of diplomacy and diplomatic relations. Secondly, in terms of logistics, they will use every means available for us,” Erdogan said at a ceremony in Northern Cyprus. “Secondly, in terms of logistics, they will use every means available for us. They will hand over every logistical ability they have to Turkey. And finally, there will be serious financial and administerial difficulties during this process. They will give the necessary support to Turkey in this respect as well. If these conditions could be met, we are thinking of taking over the management of Kabul airport.”
Erdogan said Ankara looks positively at the proposal to take over the airport mission but listed conditions including diplomatic backing of Turkey and the US handover of facilities and logistics in Afghanistan.
Quoted by Reuters, Erdogan acknowledged that the Taliban had reservations but said Turkey would nonetheless carry out the mission as long as the United States, a NATO partner, meets three specific Turkish requirements.
“In the meantime, the Taliban has some qualms. We will hold talks with the Taliban over this period like they held some talks with United States. They should be able to hold these talks with Turkey more comfortably,” he said.