07 Sep 2021, 15:19

Turkey says 'no need to rush' recognising Taliban


  ISTANBUL, Sept 7, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - Turkey said on Tuesday there was "no
need to rush" in recognising the Taliban's rule in Afghanistan, adding that
Ankara was still holding discussions about operating Kabul's strategic

   In a wide-ranging television interview, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu
sounded a cautious note about Turkey's future relations with the
fundamentalist Islamist group.

   He said Afghanistan's new government needed to be "inclusive", adding that
women and a range of ethnic groups should be given ministerial posts.

   The Taliban on Monday claimed total control over Afghanistan, saying they
had won the key battle for the Panjshir Valley, the last remaining holdout of
resistance against their rule.

   But Cavusoglu said the international community should take a wait-and-see
approach before recognising its rule, sounding a similar tone to one adopted
by the European Union at a meeting last Friday.

   "There is no need to rush," he said. "This is our advice to the entire
world. We should act together with the international community."

   Turkey has been holding talks with the Taliban in Kabul, where it still
has a diplomatic presence, about the conditions under which it could help
operate the Afghan capital's airport.

   US officials say they no longer control the airspace in Afghanistan and
that the main airport in Kabul, which the US military seized in August for
evacuations, is in disrepair.

   Cavusoglu said Turkey was working with Qatar and the US on the terms under
which the airport could reopen to regular flights needed to deliver
humanitarian aid, evacuate stranded civilians and re-establish diplomatic
missions in Kabul.

   But he said security remained a key sticking point, stressing that
commercial flights could never resume until airlines -- and their insurers --
felt that conditions were sufficiently safe.

   "In my view, the Taliban or Afghan forces could ensure security outside
the airport," Cavusoglu said.

   "But inside, there could be a security company trusted by the
international community or all other companies," he said. "Even if airlines,
including Turkish Airlines, are keen to fly there, insurance companies would
not allow it."

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