AT Monitoring Desk
KABUL: Turkey can keep its troops in Afghanistan only if political, financial and logistic support is provided by the allies, as NATO prepares to withdraw from the country, the country’s Defense Minister, Hulusi Akar, daily Hürriyet reported on Monday.
Ankara has conducted talks with the U.S. on the issue, which was also discussed at the NATO defense ministers meeting, he said at Aksaz naval base during the Sea Wolf (Deniz Kurdu) military exercise.
“If these are provided, we can stay at Hamid Karzai International Airport. We are waiting for your reply regarding our terms,” he added.
Calling Afghan people as “brothers,” he said: “The goal is to ensure peace in Afghanistan. We have a historical brotherhood. We want to be able to stay in Afghanistan as long as the Afghan people want to help them.”
U.S. President Joe Biden announced that his country’s troops would start to withdraw from Afghanistan as of May 1. The withdrawal will be completed by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
More than 5,000 troops of NATO are expected to withdraw from Afghanistan.
Turkey has 500 soldiers in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission (RSM).
On Oct. 7, 2001, the U.S. launched Operation Enduring Freedom on the ground that Afghanistan was hiding Osama Bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders. More than 20 countries, including NATO members, supported the U.S. during the 13-year operation from 2001 to 2014.