Important duty falls on Europe over Afghan migrants: Erdoğan
Important duties fall on Europe for the Afghan irregular migration to be solved before it turns into a crisis, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has told German Chancellor Angela Merkel, underlining that Turkey cannot bear an additional burden of refugees from Afghanistan after Taliban’s takeover of the country.
Erdoğan has accelerated diplomatic traffic over the weekend in light of the latest developments in Afghanistan. He spoke with Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Aug. 21, a day after he discussed Afghanistan with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis who is concerned of a new refugee influx from the central Asian country.
According to a statement from the presidency, a new migration from Afghanistan will be inevitable if the necessary precautions are not taken, Erdoğan told Merkel, adding that Turkey, which currently hosts five million refugees, could not bear an additional burden of migration from the war-torn country.
“Stating that Turkey held talks with Iran as well in that regard and increased the measures on the Iranian border, President Erdoğan said that important duties fell on Europe in order for the Afghan irregular migration to be solved as soon as possible before it turned into a crisis,” read the statement.
Erdoğan reiterated Turkey’s intention to maintain the responsibility of security and operation at Kabul airport in the event that appropriate conditions are created.
“Noting that the new government to be formed in Afghanistan should embrace and represent all Afghan people, Erdoğan drew attention to the importance of the beginning of the talks between the Taliban and the Republic’s leaders in Kabul on peace and security,” the statement stressed.
He also stressed that it was a must to avert a humanitarian tragedy in the face of the migration wave from Afghanistan and provide immediate aid to these people in Afghanistan and its neighboring countries.
Erdoğan and Merkel also reviewed Turkey-EU talks for the update of the March 18 agreement over the Syrian refugees sheltered on the Turkish land. “Pointing out that the recent developments in Afghanistan as well as the burden caused by the millions of Syrian refugees further increased the public sensitivity, Erdoğan said that it would be unrealistic to expect more from Turkey unless the March 18 agreement was implemented with all its elements.”
Erdoğan, Putin discuss cooperation
Erdoğan and Putin also discussed the developments in Afghanistan, according to a separate statement by the presidency.
Erdoğan repeated Turkey’s intention to remain in Kabul for the protection and operation of the airport. “Voicing Turkey’s hope for a smooth transition in Afghanistan, Erdoğan underscored that it was of importance that the Taliban did not repeat the mistakes of the past, acted with an inclusive approach towards all ethnic groups and honored the promises it made,” said the statement.
Erdoğan noted that the new government to be formed in Afghanistan should be inclusive and representative in a way that would reflect the diversity of the people of Afghanistan. Describing the beginning of the talks between the Taliban and the Republic leaders in Kabul as promising, Erdoğan drew attention to the necessity to keep the channels of dialogue open with the Taliban during that process and carry out a gradual engagement rather than an approach based on severe conditions, said the statement.
Erdoğan said that although Turkey considered the messages of the Taliban to be moderate for now, the Taliban’s actions, rather than its words, would ensure the shaping of the period ahead.
Erdoğan and Putin had agreed on being in coordination regarding the relation to be developed with the government to be formed in Afghanistan in the upcoming period.