ANKARA (Sputnik) – The role of the Turkish military in the future management of the international airport in Kabul will be decided in the coming days, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Thursday.
“As in the previous six years, we are ready to ensure the operation of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan, subject to necessary conditions. We are holding a series of negotiations on this issue. The issue will be clarified in the coming days. We do not intend to endanger our military,” Akar told reporters during his visit to Pakistan, as broadcast by the NTV channel.
Ankara’s goal is to prevent the isolation of Afghanistan, according to the minister. If the airport in Kabul is shut, all diplomatic missions in the country would have to close, he explained.
Turkey is taking all necessary measures to strengthen the border with Iran to prevent a new wave of migration from Afghanistan as the situation worsens, Akar added.
The decades-long war between Afghanistan’s government forces and the Taliban* took another turn as foreign troops began withdrawing from the country. The radical group claims to have overrun 10 provincial capitals since last Friday.
*The Taliban is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.