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Taliban now seeks Turkey’s assistance to run Kabul airport

The Taliban, the Afghan Islamist group that seized power in the country on 15 August, has now sought technical assistance from Turkey to help run the Kabul airport after the departure of foreign forces on 31 August

Aug 26, 2021
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Turkey’s assistance to run Kabul airport

The Taliban, the Afghan Islamist group that seized power in the country on 15 August, has now sought technical assistance from Turkey to help run the Kabul airport after the departure of foreign forces on 31 August. Aid agencies and other international organizations have asked the Taliban to have a functioning airport in Kabul for their future presence in the country. 

The request came at the same time when the group has been insisting that Turkey withdraw its troops from Kabul airport by 31 August.

"The Taliban have made a request for technical support in running Kabul airport," a senior Turkish official was quoted as saying by Reuters, adding the troops' withdrawal would complicate the security situation at the airport. 

Significantly, earlier before the fall of the US-backed government, the Taliban had been opposing the same proposal which was being negotiated between the US and Turkey.

Turkey, the only Muslim country that was a part of a NATO mission in Afghanistan, still has hundreds of troops at Kabul airport. Due to the relatively small number of troops, Turkish officials claimed they were ready to withdraw at short notice.

Keeping the airport open after foreign forces hand over control is vital not just for Afghanistan to stay connected to the world but also to maintain aid supplies and operations.

Having a functional airport in Kabul becomes even more important when the country has been staring at a grave humanitarian crisis and needs immediate assistance from international partners.

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