Turkish, US officials discuss Afghan airport security plans
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish and U.S. military officials met in Turkey’s capital on Thursday to discuss plans for Turkish troops to continue securing Kabul’s airport after the withdrawal of the U.S. and other NATO troops from Afghanistan.
Turkey, NATO’s only majority-Muslim member, has offered to protect and run the Hamid Karzai International airport — the main gateway into Afghanistan — after the alliance pulls out of the country. The country, which has around 500 non-combat troops in Afghanistan, is however, seeking U.S. and other allies’ support for the mission.
Last week, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on the sidelines of a NATO summit, that Turkey was looking for “diplomatic, logistic and financial assistance” from the United States to protect and operate the airport. Turkey also wanted Pakistan and Hungary to be involved in the mission, he said.