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Política Internacional / 30/06/2021

WORLD NEWS

Turkey, US Forward Agreement on Kabul Airport Security

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Turkey, US Forward Agreement on Kabul Airport Security


Turkish troops will receive US military support, but Ankara also wants US troops to help protect diplomats and humanitarian aid

The United States and Turkey are close to an agreement on the security scheme that will be implemented at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul after the withdrawal of foreign troops Afghanistan. The site is the main exit route for Western diplomats and aid workers and a safe haven for government forces amid the conflict against the Taliban.

Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Joe Biden reached an oral agreement earlier this month that would put Turkey at the head of airport security after the withdrawal of most NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and US forces.

Erdogan asked for financial and logistical help, as well as assistance partner countries. To conclude the agreement, some rough edges remain to be ironed out as to the possible role of the Turks in providing security outside the airport's premises, according to the Middle East Eye agency.

Turkey and US close to agreement on Kabul airport security

Afghan military and police officers receive training Turkish army soldier (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

At least 6,500 NATO troops and 2,500 US troops remain in Afghanistan. Turkey has around 500 soldiers in the country, but their mission is not to fight, but to train, advise and help the Afghan security forces.

Washington has already started the withdrawal of its troops, in a process that will end on September 11th in a symbolic way. The evacuation must actually be completed well ahead of the deadline set by President Joe Biden. Possibly in July.

Taliban Dissatisfaction

The possibility of Turkey taking over airport security displeases the Taliban, who have gained ground in the country amid the dismantling of the military apparatus. Recently, the jihadist group came out against this hypothesis and issued a warning: "Turkey shouldn't make such a big mistake."

Through its spokesman, Muhammad Naeem, the Taliban "has made it very clear to the occupying forces that it will not accept the presence of foreign forces any in Afghanistan." The communiqué also makes specific reference to Turkey: "It is not appropriate for an Islamic nation to create enmity with another Islamic nation," as the Russian agency Sputnik reported.

The Taliban understands that local security rests exclusively with Afghans and says that “no one should hope to maintain a military or security presence” in the country. The fundamentalist movement reinforces that any foreign presence will be seen as an occupation and promises to “take a stand” against the invaders.


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