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Taliban should end occupation in Afghanistan, says Erdogan

News Agencies | Updated on: 20 July 2021, 7:47 IST

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the Taliban should "end the occupation" in Afghanistan amid rising violence in the war-torn country.

"The Taliban should end the occupation of the soil of their brothers," Erdogan stated on Monday in a press conference upon his departure to Northern Cyprus.

Erdogan also said that Turkey plans to talk with the Taliban over Kabul airport, Daily Sabah reported.

Turkey, whose forces in Afghanistan have always consisted of noncombatant troops, has offered to guard the airport as questions remain on how security will be assured along major transport routes and at the airport, which is the main gateway to the capital Kabul.

The security of the airport is crucial for the operation of diplomatic missions out of Afghanistan as Western forces pull out.

The airport is in a strategic location close to the Afghan presidential palace and foreign diplomatic missions in Kabul and is the only place from which to evacuate diplomats in emergency situations.

The Taliban warned Turkey against possible plans to keep some troops in Afghanistan to run and guard Kabul's main airport after the withdrawal of foreign troops, calling the strategy "reprehensible".

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan condemns this reprehensible decision," the terror group said in a statement.

"If Turkish officials fail to reconsider their decision and continue the occupation of our country, the Islamic Emirate... will take a stand against them," it added.

Afghanistan has witnessed a spike in violence in recent weeks. Taliban have stepped up offensive since the foreign forces began to withdraw from the country in May.

The United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) forces will complete military drawdown till the end of August.

Taliban is taking control of more and more territory in Afghanistan, while Afghan forces have launched a counteroffensive to thwart the terrorists.


Also Read: Afghanistan: Amid violence in country, Taliban favours 'political settlement'


First published: 20 July 2021, 7:47 IST