Erdogan Demands U.S. Support to Take Over Kabul Airport Security
(Bloomberg) -- Turkey is keen to take over security at Kabul’s airport provided it has the support of the U.S., which is in the process of withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan after 20 years of war.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday on a visit to Northern Cyprus that his government is “positive” about the idea but “has conditions,” according to state-run Anadolu Agency.
Turkey has provided security at the airport’s busy military section for six years as part of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission. Taking on the rest of the facility could provide an opportunity for Erdogan to repair ties with Washington strained by several disputes, particularly over Turkey’s purchase of a Russian missile-defense system that NATO considers a threat to its security.
The Taliban last week warned Turkey of serious consequences over its plan. Erdogan has rejected that criticism.
“Firstly, the U.S. should take Turkey’s side on diplomatic relations. Secondly, they should mobilize their logistical opportunities for Turkey, and lastly it should offer necessary support on financial and administrative issues as there would be serious challenges,” Erdogan said.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.