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Erdogan’s remarks misinterpreted, says Kabul

Turkey’s deal with Biden’s administration for key security roles in Afghanistan smacks of Ankara’s plan to expand its footprint after the U.S. withdrawal, amid speculations about which regional powers are trying to supplant the U.S. influence in the war-torn country after two decades of military intervention

AT News

KABUL: Afghan Foreign Ministry says the Turkish President’s remarks about the role of a number of other countries in maintaining security of Kabul airport were misreported.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week that if Turkey takes responsibility for protecting Kabul International Airport after the withdrawal of international troops, it wants Pakistan and Hungary to be involved.

But Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Geran Hiwad on Thursday shrugged off reports that the Turkish president had spoken about military involvement of other countries to secure Kabul airport. “It is fundamentally misinterpreted and misreported,” he said.

Hiwad added that top-level diplomatic meetings and a through observation of the transcript of Turkish President’s speech clearly indicated that Erdogan’s intention was to support the Afghan armed forces to achieve peace.

“Turkey has always insisted on achieving a political solution in Afghanistan through peaceful means and negotiations. The purpose of these talks is to attract the support and cooperation of countries in the region, especially Pakistan, to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan,” said Hiwad.

About 500 Turkish troops are currently stationed in Afghanistan.

Turkey’s recent deal with Biden’s administration, for key security roles in Afghanistan, smacks of Ankara’s plan to expand its footprint after the U.S. withdrawal, amid speculations about regional powers trying to supplant the U.S. influence in the war-torn country after two decades of military intervention.

Earlier, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance would provide funding for the continued operation of the Kabul airport.

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