KABUL: Qatar and Turkey continue to work on a roadmap for operation of Kabul International Airport, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Tuesday.
Speaking to the Turkish Parliament, Akar stated that the Turkish Armed Forces has undertaken important duties in Afghanistan and that, in accordance with the United Nations and NATO resolutions, approximately 20,000 personnel have been working in Afghanistan since 2002 within the body of the TSK.
He said, “After the U.S. and NATO’s decision to leave Afghanistan, in the last period that developed faster than expected and the conditions became more difficult, the evacuation decision was taken and the process was successfully completed in less than 48 hours as planned.”
“As Turkey, we will continue to closely follow the developments in the region from now on,” Akar added.
Within 10 days in August, the Taliban had announced its control of most of Afghanistan in parallel with the United States withdrawal from the country after 20 years of military presence. Shortly after the withdrawal of forces, technical teams from Turkey and Qatar started working on getting the airport back to operational standards.
After the Taliban’s seizure of the country, Turkey offered technical and security assistance at the airport. Keeping the airport open after foreign forces handed over control is vital not just for Afghanistan to stay connected to the world but to maintain aid supplies and operations.