Taliban should be comfortable holding talks with Turkey due to their beliefs: Erdoğan
President Erdoğan has said that the Taliban should be comfortable when holding talks with Turkey because Ankara "doesn't have anything that contradicts their beliefs."
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that the Taliban should be comfortable when holding talks with Turkey due to the militant group's beliefs.
Speaking to reporters on July 20, Erdoğan said that Turkey-Taliban talks would overcome any problems and should be more comfortable than past U.S.-Taliban talks.
"They need to hold talks with Turkey just like they did with the U.S., but more comfortably because Turkey doesn't have anything that contradicts their beliefs," Erdoğan said, apparently citing Islam as the common ground between the parties.
He also called on the U.S. to meet "conditions" including financial, logistical and diplomatic support, so that Turkey can run and guard Kabul airport after other foreign troops withdraw from Afghanistan.
Turkey has offered to deploy troops to the airport after NATO fully withdraws and has been in talks with the United States for several weeks.
The Taliban, who have gained territory as U.S.-led foreign forces pull out, have warned Turkey against it.
Erdoğan acknowledged that the Taliban had reservations but said Turkey would nonetheless carry out the mission as long as the United States, a NATO partner, meets three specific Turkish requirements.
"If these conditions could be met, we are thinking of taking over the management of Kabul airport," he said, listing diplomatic backing for Turkey as well as the U.S. handover of facilities and logistics in Afghanistan.
"There will be serious financial and administrative difficulties ... [the United States] will give the necessary support to Turkey in this respect as well," Erdoğan added, after attending morning prayers during the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.
Turkey hopes the airport mission will help soothe U.S. ties that are strained on several fronts including its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defenses.
The Taliban ruled Afghanistan with an iron fist from 1996 to 2001 and have fought for 20 years to expel foreign forces, topple the Western-backed government in Kabul and reimpose Islamic rule.
The Taliban, emboldened by the departure of foreign forces by a September target, have called Turkey's plan reprehensible. Ankara and others have said the airport must stay open to preserve diplomatic missions there.
Erdoğan on July 19 said the Taliban should "end the occupation."