National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Thursday that President Biden and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reached an agreement on Afghanistan during a meeting earlier this week.
As foreign troops pulling out of Afghanistan, the US wants to keep its embassy in Kabul open. To do this, the US wants the Kabul airport to be secure. The airport is currently being guarded by Turkish troops, and the US wants them to stay after the withdrawal.
“The clear commitment from the leaders was established that Turkey would play a lead role in securing Hamid Karzai International Airport and we are now working through how to execute to get to that,” Sullivan said.
Details of what exactly the US and Turkey are planning are not clear. But the Taliban has already warned against Turkish troops staying to guard the airport after other foreign troops leave. Sullivan said the Taliban warning would not “deter” the US and Turkey’s plan.
“Obviously we take seriously the concern that Taliban or other elements in Afghanistan will attack the Western or the international presence … We do not believe that what the Taliban has said publicly should or will deter the efforts underway right now to establish that security presence,” he said.
The US-Taliban peace deal that was signed in February 2020 outlined a plan for all foreign troops to leave Afghanistan. Since Turkey is part of the US-NATO coalition, the Taliban views a continued Turkish presence as a violation of the deal.
Sullivan also said that there remains an impasse between Washington and Ankara over the Turkish purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense systems. Erdogan has been clear that he has no plans to reverse the purchase.
4 thoughts on “Turkey Agrees to Take ‘Lead Role’ Securing Kabul Airport”
Here we go again.
Will Turkey get bogged down in Afghanistan?
The US wants regime change in Ankara. Is this the way the US plans to bring it about?
It is hard to see what Erdogan got out of it.
He gets to lick US’ boots in hopes they don’t regime change him. I hope the Turkish people decide they have had enough from this extreme warmonger one day.
This is a sophisticated game. Russia and China prefer Turkey, their SCO partner there. Taliban will object — not to Turkey, but to implied NATO mission. In the end, some kind of redefined mission, a compromise, will be reached. Keep in mind that China has moved into Turkey with infrastructure and financial support. Russia and Turkey partner in Syria, Libya and Azerbaijan. Turkey is Iran’s ally, has a base in Iraq — blocking PKK expansion into Iraq (and with Iraqi Kurds understanding). It had placed base in Qatar when it was isolated by GCC for its Iranian ties. I is still there. It is partnering with Russia on weapons production. It blocked harsher NATO response to Belarus Ryan Air incident. Now partnering with Egypt in Gaza reconstruction plans. It is partnering with Pakistan.
Many savvy analysts have for a while seen the Turkey-Iran-Pakistan link that China and Russia are building as a response to “Arc of Instability”.
US has no choice but to go along. Turkey is in NATO, so the illusion of influence can continue for a while.
While simultaneously sanctioning Turkey and attacking its currency.
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