October 16, 2021

Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

‘Turkey won’t send additional troops to secure Kabul airport’

Ankara,  Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said that the country will not send additional troops to Afghanistan as part of a plan to secure the Kabul airport since it already has soldiers in the country.

“At the moment, we’re not in any situation to send (new) soldiers. It is out of the question for us to send any soldiers there in any way now,” Akar told reporters at Parliament on Wednesday.

Turkey has been in dialogue with other countries to draw up a plan, he said.

Turkey has been operating Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport for six years, with some 500 troops in the NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.

Ankara has proposed to secure and run the airport after the withdrawal of NATO forces in the war-torn country.

However, the Taliban objects to the proposal, saying they do not want any foreign troops remaining in Afghanistan after the NATO forces leave in September.

A delegation from the US Defence Ministry will visit Turkey on Thursday to discuss logistic and financial support for the NATO mission, according to Akar.

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