Turkey’s Erdogan Says He May Receive Taliban Leader for Talks
(Bloomberg) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday he may receive the leader of the militant Taliban group to discuss the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan.
Erdogan, speaking in an interview with CNNTurk television, said he discussed ways with the leadership of Qatar on Wednesday on how to stop the advance of the Taliban and how the two countries can take a step toward “peace.”
“The situation that the Afghan people are in is very difficult, they are experiencing troubling times with the Taliban,” Erdogan said. “Our relevant institutions are working on it, including talks with the Taliban, and I may also receive the leader of the Taliban,” he said without elaborating.
Erdogan suggested he may receive someone from the Taliban leadership in Turkey, but it was unclear who exactly he was referring to and when such a meeting could occur.
Taliban fighters have taken control of a number of provincial capitals in recent days as the U.S. completes its plan to pull remaining troops by the end of the month, ahead of the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.
The Taliban’s advance is making the willingness of Turkey to take over the lead in securing Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International more risky as it struggles to seal its eastern border with Iran against an uptick in the number of refugees fleeing Afghanistan.
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