Turkey ready to take Kabul airport control if NATO allies provide supports

·2-min read
Representative Image
Representative Image

Kabul [Afghanistan], June 8 (ANI): As the United States declares its troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, Turkey is interested in taking control of Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai International Airport if North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) allies permit.

Khaama Press reported that Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said that Turkish forces have agreed to take the control of the Hamid Karzai International Airport if allies provide support.

"500 Turkish forces in Afghanistan will take the control and responsibility of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, if financial, logistic and political support is provided by the allies," Akar said in a meeting with its NATO allies.

This comes as the withdrawal of the foreign forces which is scheduled to be completed by September 11 have increased concerns among the international community and the diplomatic mission's presence in Afghanistan.

Pentagon officials had earlier said that Pakistan had allowed the US military to use its airspace and given ground access so that it could support its presence in Afghanistan.

However, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi refuted the claim and said that the country would not provide its military bases to the US for future counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan and also not allow drone attacks inside Pakistan.

Whereas, according to the New York Times, some American officials believe the negotiations have reached an impasse for now. The US intelligence agency CIA did use a base in Pakistan to launch drone strikes against militants but "was kicked out of the facility in 2011, when US relations with Pakistan unraveled," the report said.

"Some American officials (told the newspaper) that negotiations with Pakistan had reached an impasse for now. Others have said the option remains on the table and a deal is possible," the report explains.

According to NYT, William J. Burns, the CIA director, recently made an unannounced visit to Islamabad to meet the chief of the Pakistani military and the head of the directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence. US Defence Secretary Lloyd J. Austin also has had frequent calls with the Pakistani military chief about getting the country's help for future US operations in Afghanistan. (ANI)