Duvar English - Reuters
The Taliban are in talks with Turkey and Qatar about the management of Kabul airport and should secure the airport as soon as possible so that people who want to leave Afghanistan can do so using commercial flights, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Aug. 31.
"The Security Council resolution about securing the airport must be implemented. There are talks under way with the Qataris and Turks about the management of the airport. We must demand that access to the airport is safe," Le Drian said on France 2 television.
Le Drian also said that France must continue to put pressure on the Taliban but is not negotiating with them.
Ankara has been in talks with the Taliban about providing technical help to operate Kabul airport after the Aug. 31 deadline for troops to leave Afghanistan but said the recent bombing underlined the need for a Turkish force to protect any experts deployed there.
Turkey, which is part of the NATO mission, has been responsible for security at the airport for the last six years. Keeping the airport open after foreign forces hand over control is vital not just for Afghanistan to stay connected to the world but also to maintain aid supplies and operations.
Erdoğan holds talks with de facto UAE leader
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has spoken by phone with the UAE's de facto ruler, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Erdoğan's office said on Aug. 31, in a fresh sign of improving ties between the regional rivals.
"Relations between the countries and regional issues were discussed in the talks," the statement said. It did not specify when the talks took place.
Erdoğan had said two weeks ago after a rare meeting with a senior UAE official that the two countries had made progress in improving relations, which could lead to significant UAE investment in Turkey.
UAE's state news agency WAM said both leaders discussed "the prospects of reinforcing the relations between the two nations in a way that serves their common interests and their two peoples."
Erdoğan's talks two weeks ago were with UAE National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan and focused on economic cooperation.
Turkey last year accused the UAE of bringing chaos to the Middle East through interventions in Libya and Yemen, while the UAE and several other countries criticized Turkey's military actions.