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Taliban proposed Turkey run Kabul airport: Erdogan

Published: Updated:

The Taliban proposed that Turkey run the airport in Afghanistan's capital Kabul, with the group providing security, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.

“The Taliban have proposed that we operate Kabul airport. We have not yet made a decision on this issue,” state news agency Anadolu quoted Erdogan as saying.

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Erdogan condemned Thursday’s attack on Kabul airport which left dozens dead and wounded and was claimed by ISIS.

The Taliban said the attack occurred in an area where US forces are responsible for security and one of the group’s officials claimed the attack was due to the presence of foreign forces.

Erdogan said: “The heinous attack has made it clear how important security in Afghanistan is, and that the state's priority for now is the evacuation of Turkish citizens.”

Erdogan said Turkey was negotiating with the Taliban to work on “expectations and negotiate to practice diplomacy.”

The Turkish president stressed that his country cannot handle the burden of Afghan refugees.

According to the Turkish Interior ministry, “currently there are some 300,000 Afghan immigrants both registered and unregistered in Turkey.”

“Turkey cannot handle another migration wave,” Erdogan added.

There are thousands of Afghans flooding the surroundings of Kabul airport, having rushed there since the Taliban seized the country in August 15. Many Afghans would rather risk living as a refugee than stay in a country under Taliban rule.

Read more:

‘Next few days’ will be most dangerous to date in Afghanistan: US military officials

Two UK nationals, one child among dead in Kabul airport attack: Foreign Secretary

Pentagon says only one suicide bomber targeted Kabul airport, expects more attacks