Turkey says no additional staff will be sent to Afghanistan
No additional personnel will be sent to Afghanistan, the Turkish national defense minister informed a US delegation during a meeting in the capital Ankara on Thursday.
“Apart from our current personnel, there is currently no personnel going to the region,” Hulusi Akar said.
A delegation from the US has arrived in Ankara on Thursday and talks are ongoing to discuss progress on efforts to keep Afghanistan's Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport operational, Akar added.
“We want to achieve appropriate results for the interests of our country and Afghanistan, and we are working for this,” he added.
“We aim to continue our contribution to the security, peace and welfare of our Afghan brothers,” he said.
On Wednesday, the US announced that a delegation of the Pentagon and Department of State officials will be in Turkey to discuss security at the Kabul airport.
A day earlier, sources from Turkey's National Defense Ministry said the delegation will discuss progress on efforts to keep the airport operational.
The situation in Afghanistan has gained importance in recent weeks after US President Joe Biden announced that all American forces will withdraw from the war-torn country by Sept. 11, with NATO allies to follow suit.
Biden and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the issue at a recent NATO leaders summit in Brussels.
Ankara has been running the military and logistic operations of the Kabul airport for six years as part of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission.
Turkey, whose forces in Afghanistan have always been comprised of noncombatant troops, is reported to have offered to guard the airport as questions remain on how security will be assured along major transport routes and at the airport, which is the main gateway to the capital, Kabul.