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Monday Jul 19 2021
By
Reuters

Turkey's Erdogan says Taliban should end ‘occupation’ in Afghanistan

By
Reuters
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during an action plan meeting to prevent violence against women, in Ankara, Turkey July 1, 2021. — Reuters/File
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during an action plan meeting to prevent violence against women, in Ankara, Turkey July 1, 2021. — Reuters/File

  • Taliban "need to end the occupation of their brothers' soil", Erdogan says.
  • Taliban should show the world that peace is prevailing in Afghanistan right away, he says.
  • Taliban's approach was not the way Muslims should deal with each other, he adds.


ISTANBUL: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday said that the Taliban should "end the occupation of their brothers' soil", and show the world that peace is prevailing in Afghanistan right away.

Talking to journalists before leaving for a trip to northern Cyprus, Recep Tayyip Erdogan played down a warning from the group of consequences if Turkish troops remain in Afghanistan to run the Kabul airport.

"(The Taliban) need to end the occupation of their brothers' soil and show the world that peace is prevailing in Afghanistan right away," he said.

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan with an iron fist from 1996 to 2001 and have fought for 20 years to topple the Western-backed government in Kabul. They are making a fresh push now to gain territory as foreign forces pull out.

He said the Taliban's approach was not the way Muslims should deal with each other.

Ankara, which has offered to run and guard Kabul airport in the capital after NATO withdraws, has been in talks with the United States on financial, political, and logistical support for the deployment.

Last week the Taliban warned Turkey against those plans to keep some troops in Afghanistan to run the airport, calling the strategy reprehensible and warning of consequences.

"In the statement made by the Taliban, there is no phrase 'We don't want Turkey'," Erdogan said when asked about the comments.

Separately, Erdogan said that he hoped to raise in talks with US President Joe Biden at this year's UN General Assembly the issue of international recognition for Kosovo and would propose joint work on the issue to increase the number of countries which recognise it.