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Talks on Turkey’s Afghanistan mission in doldrums

AT Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Turkey has not made a final decision on its participation in ensuring the security of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul after foreign troops leave, as talks regarding the issue are still ongoing, the country’s Defense Minister, Hulusi Akar said.

Ankara announced in June that it is planning to guard the Kabul airport after American troops withdraw from Afghanistan. Later that month, Akar said that Turkey was negotiating with a US delegation measures to safeguard the airport.

“No decision has been reached at the moment,” Akar told reporters, as quoted by the Anadolu news agency.

There are certain conditions for Turkey to stay and guard the airport, and Ankara has communicated them to NATO, the minister noted.

“We will discuss the outcome of the talks at a meeting chaired by our president. And we will put the plan into effect after the president’s approval,” Akar said.

The situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated after Washington announced in April that all American forces would be removed from the country by 11 September, with the gradual pullout starting in May. NATO is also withdrawing its troops in coordination with the US.

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