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Erdoğan calls on U.S. to meet Turkey's conditions to run and guard Kabul airport

"If Turkey's conditions could be met, we are thinking of taking over the management of Kabul airport," he said, listing diplomatic backing for Turkey as well as the U.S. handover of facilities and logistics in Afghanistan. "There will be serious financial and administrative difficulties ... (the United States) will give the necessary support to Turkey in this respect as well," Erdoğan added, after attending morning prayers during the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.

Agencies and A News WORLD
Published July 20,2021
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Tuesday Turkey could run Kabul airport if its NATO ally the United States met certain conditions including on logistics and financing.

Turkey has been negotiating with US defence officials over its offer to help secure and run Kabul airport, which is key to allowing countries to retain a diplomatic presence in war-torn Afghanistan after the US troop withdrawal.

Erdoğan and US President Joe Biden discussed the issue in their first face-to-face meeting on the margins of a NATO summit in June.

"We are right now looking positively" to the idea of running Kabul airport after US troops withdraw from Afghanistan, Erdoğan told journalists in a televised address from Nicosia in northern Cyprus.

"But we want America to meet some conditions," he said.

"What are they? Firstly, America will stand by us in diplomatic relations. Secondly, they will mobilise their logistical means for us... and the other one is that there will be serious problems on financial and administrative issues, and they will give necessary support to Turkey," he added.

"If these conditions can be met, we, as Turkey, are planning to operate the Kabul airport."


Turkey is considering operating a major airport in Afghanistan and Ankara is ready to discuss the Afghan peace process with the Taliban, the Turkish president said in a statement.

"By negotiating this process with the Taliban, just as the Taliban made some of the talks with the United States, the Taliban should hold these talks with Turkey much more comfortably," Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters after offering Eid prayers in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Erdogan is in TRNC on the 47th anniversary of Turkey's Cyprus Peace Operation.

Referring to crucial Afghan peace talks in the Qatari capital Doha, Erdoğan said: "I think we will make good use of this process. There are other alternatives (as well), and we are currently working on these alternatives."


Intense fighting between Afghan forces and the Taliban continues amid the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country. US President Joe Biden has said the US military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on Aug. 31.

Talks between the US and Turkey over security at the airport following the US pullout remain ongoing. Biden and his Turkish counterpart Erdoğan discussed the issue at a recent NATO leaders' summit in Brussels.

Ankara has been running the military and logistic operations of the Kabul airport for six years as part of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission.

Turkey, whose forces in Afghanistan have always been noncombatants, has reportedly offered to guard the airport amid questions over how security will be assured along major transport routes and at the airport, which is the main gateway to the capital.