Turkey carefully following Afghanistan as interim gov't announced: Erdoğan
As the Taliban just announced an interim cabinet for Afghanistan, Turkey is carefully monitoring developments in the country, Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sept. 7.
“As you know, right now, it’s hard to call it permanent, but an interim cabinet has been announced,” Erdoğan said, responding cautiously to the new government announced by the Taliban.
“We don’t know how long this interim cabinet will last. All we have to do is to follow this process carefully,” he added, speaking at a joint press conference with Felix Tshisekedi, his Democratic Republic of Congo counterpart, who is visiting the Turkish capital Ankara.
On future operations of the airport in Kabul, the Afghan capital, Erdoğan said Turkey has taken a positive approach from the beginning, but such developments are not yet concrete.
“We have taken a positive approach toward the operation of the Kabul airport. At the point we have reached, those positive developments are not yet there. We have maintained our positive approach, and we are,” he stated.
Following Turkey’s decision to withdraw its troops deployed at the airport, the Taliban demanded the Turkish government’s assistance in continuing the operations of the airport through civilian means.
Turkey is working with Qatar and the United States about operating Kabul airport and is in talks with the Taliban, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Sept. 6, adding that security at the airport was the main issue.
A total of 19 Turkish technicians were in Kabul, holding talks with the Qataris about the airport, he said.
Turkey has told the Taliban that it would not take part in the airport mission unless its units are involved in security. The minister said the Taliban could ensure security outside the airport, but they would need a more reliable mechanism inside.
The Taliban on Tuesday announced an “interim government” in Afghanistan to be led by Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund. The Taliban’s interim government is drawn exclusively from their own loyalist ranks, with established hardliners in all key posts and no women - despite previous promises to form an inclusive administration for all Afghans.
Mullah Yaqoob, the son of the Taliban founder and late supreme leader Mullah Omar, was named defense minister, while the position of the interior minister was given to Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of the feared Haqqani network. Co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar, who oversaw the signing of the U.S. withdrawal agreement in 2020, was appointed deputy prime minister.
The announcement came a day after the group said they had taken full control of the country, following their lightning takeover of most of its territory last month.