Turkey said on Tuesday there was “no need to rush” in recognizing the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan, adding that Ankara was still discussing the operation of Kabul’s strategic airport.
In an extensive televised interview, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu sounded cautious about Turkey’s future relations with the fundamentalist group.
He said Afghanistan’s new government must be “inclusive”, adding that women and a range of ethnic groups should be given ministerial posts.
The Taliban claimed total control of Afghanistan on Monday, saying they had won the main battle of the Panjshir Valley, the last remaining resistance to their rule.
But Cavusoglu said the international community must adopt a wait-and-see attitude before recognizing its rule, in a tone similar to that of the European Union at a meeting last Friday.
“You don’t have to rush,” he said. “This is our advice to the whole world. We need to work with the international community.”
Turkey is in talks with the Taliban in Kabul, where it still maintains a diplomatic presence, about conditions under which it could help operate the airport in the Afghan capital.
US officials say they no longer control airspace in Afghanistan and that the main airport in Kabul, which the US military seized for evacuations in August, is in disrepair.
Cavusoglu said Turkey is working with Qatar and the US on conditions under which the airport can reopen to regular flights needed to deliver humanitarian aid, evacuate stranded civilians and restore diplomatic missions in Kabul.
But he said safety remained a major sticking point, stressing that commercial flights could never resume until airlines — and their insurers — believed conditions were sufficiently safe.
“In my opinion, the Taliban or Afghan forces could ensure security outside the airport,” Cavusoglu said.
“But inside there could be a security company that is trusted by the international community or all the other companies,” he said. “Even if airlines, including Turkish Airlines, would like to fly there, insurance companies wouldn’t allow it.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)