According to a senior Turkish defense official, a US military delegation will visit Ankara later this week to hold detailed consultations on a possible Turkish role in securing Kabul International Airport following Nato’s withdrawal.
Turkey has reportedly pledged to protect Hamid Karzai International Airport, as concerns persist about how security would be ensured along important transportation lines and at the airport, which is the primary entrance to the capital Kabul.
Jake Sullivan, the US national security advisor, reported that US president Joe Biden and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan decided to work together to assure the Turkish mission is established, by the US president’s September 11th deadline to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan, during their first bilateral meeting on Monday.
Ankara expressed that in order to take the leading role, other allied countries were asked to help financially, logistically, also with troops. Erdogan told reporters on Monday at the conclusion of a series of meetings with NATO leaders that Turkey is seeking Pakistan’s and Hungary’s participation in the new mission in Afghanistan once the US-led NATO force leaves.
According to sources, Hungary indicated interest in participating in the mission during a meeting between Erdogan and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on the sidelines of the NATO summit earlier this month.
Although no official deal has been signed between Ankara and NATO over undertaking this responsibility, Erdogan’s and US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s statements, however, suggested that the two countries were close to reaching an agreement. Therefore, on Wednesday or Thursday, a US delegation will visit Ankara.