Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said that his country still aims to maintain security at the Kabul airport, after Taliban took control of Afghanistan's capital.
Reuters reports that Turkish sources said this week that those original plans were dropped because of the chaos in Kabul, but that Turkey would still offer the Taliban security and technical assistance at the airport.
“With the Taliban maintaining control over the country, a new picture appeared before us,” Erdogan said in a television interview as quoted by Reuters. “Now we are making our plans according to these new realities that were formed on the field and we are continuing our talks accordingly.”
Turkey was continuing contacts with all sides in the process, Erdogan said, and welcomed what he described as moderate statements by the Taliban since they swept into Kabul.
“For the calm of the people of Afghanistan, the well-being of our Turkish kinsmen living in the country and protecting the interests of our country, we are open to any cooperation,” he said, repeating an offer to host Taliban leaders for talks.
This comes as the chaos around the Kabul airport continues with many people still missing. Crowds are growing in the southern gate of the airport while people are still seen in the northern gate, which was the main route into the facility previously.
Some families on Wednesday said that they don’t know the whereabouts of their sons since Monday after they went to the Hamid Karzai International Airport in an attempt to leave the country.
They are not among those who have been either killed or seriously injured amid the chaos at the airport that began on Sunday. At least 40 casualties--both fatalities and serious injuries--from shootings, stampeding and falling from aircraft have been reported since Monday.