December 3, 2021

Turkey should pull troops from Afghanistan under 2020 accord: Taleban spokesman, Middle East News & Top Stories

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – Turkey should withdraw its troops from Afghanistan under the 2020 deal for the pullout of US forces, a Taleban spokesman said on Thursday (June 10), effectively rejecting Ankara’s proposal to guard and run Kabul’s airport after US-led Nato forces depart.

The development raises serious questions for the United States, other countries and international organisations with missions in Kabul about how to securely evacuate their personnel from landlocked Afghanistan should fighting threaten the capital.

It also appeared to dash Ankara’s hopes of using the securing of Kabul airport to help improve ties with Washington – strained by Turkey’s purchase of Russian defense systems – in talks set for Monday between President Joe Biden and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan Asked in a text message whether the Taleban rejected Turkey’s proposal to keep forces in Kabul to guard and run the international airport after other foreign troops leave, the Taleban spokesman in Doha responded that they should go as well.

“Turkey was part of Nato forces in the past 20 years, so as such, they should withdraw from Afghanistan on the basis of the Agreement we signed with US on 29th Feb 2020,” Suhail Shaheen told Reuters.

“Otherwise, Turkey is a great Islamic country. Afghanistan has had historical relations with it. We hope to have close and good relations with them as a new Islamic government is established in the country in future,” he added.

The State Department and the Turkish Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Under the February 2020 deal secured with the Islamist Taleban under former President Donald Trump, all US forces were to be out of Afghanistan by May 1.

But Biden said in April that the pullout would be completed by the 20th anniversary of the Sept 11, 2001, Al Qaeda attacks on the United States that prompted the US-led invasion and ouster of the Taleban government that sheltered the group.

Turkish officials say they made the Kabul airport proposal at a Nato meeting in May when the United States and its partners agreed to a plan to withdraw their forces by Sept 11 after 20 years of backing the Afghan government in a war against the Taleban.

With violence raging, many US lawmakers and current and former officials fear the departure of the foreign forces and stalled peace talks are pushing Afghanistan into an all-out civil war that could return the Taleban to power.

The Pentagon says the US withdrawal is more than 50 per cent complete. Turkey, with more than 500 soldiers still in Afghanistan training security forces, now has the largest foreign military contingent there.

Australia closed its embassy last month because of security concerns. The Taleban’s effective rejection of the Turkish plan to secure the airport could prompt other countries to shutter their missions.

The development also poses a quandary for the Biden administration, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowing as recently as this week at a congressional hearing to maintain a US diplomatic presence in Kabul.

in World
Related Posts

Coronavirus: London’s Heathrow airport to open separate terminal for high-risk arrivals, Europe News & Top Stories

May 21, 2021

May 21, 2021

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) – London Heathrow airport will devote a terminal to arrivals from countries with high levels of Covid-19 infection...

US nominee for top East Asia diplomat role vows closer Taiwan ties but no new framework with China, United States News & Top Stories

June 15, 2021

June 15, 2021

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The nominee to be the top US diplomat for East Asia promised on Tuesday (June 15) that...

EU Commission sues Italy over unsafe drinking water, Europe News & Top Stories

June 9, 2021

June 9, 2021

BRUSSELS (REUTERS) – The European Commission took Italy to the EU’s top court on Wednesday (June 9) over the country’s...

Merkel’s G-7 excursion unsettled by Covid-19 outbreak at hotel, Europe News & Top Stories

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) – A Covid-19 outbreak in one of the Group of Seven (G-7) summit hotels set off alarm bells...

Sole boy survivor in Italy cable car accident out of intensive care, Europe News & Top Stories

June 1, 2021

June 1, 2021

ROME (AFP) – The five-year-old boy who was the sole survivor of an Italian cable car crash that killed 14...

Spain races to vaccinate farm workers against coronavirus ‘time bomb’, Europe News & Top Stories

May 27, 2021

May 27, 2021

ALCARRAS, SPAIN (AFP) – Outside an old blue and white school in northeastern Spain dozens of farm workers wait their...

Europe prepares for peak summer tourist season despite concern over Covid-19 Delta variant, Europe News & Top Stories

June 26, 2021

June 26, 2021

SINGAPORE – European Union (EU) members are easing curbs in preparation for the peak tourist season this summer, but concerns...

The revolution in DIY testing that will outlive the Covid-19 pandemic, Europe News & Top Stories

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

LONDON (FINANCIAL TIMES) – Imagine the scene: it’s 2023, everyone in north-west London wakes up to a text telling them...

EU drug regulator adds another rare blood condition as side effect of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, Europe News & Top Stories

June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

FRANKFURT (REUTERS) – Europe’s drug regulator on Friday (June 11) identified another rare blood condition as a potential side effect...

In France, virtual gallery showcases Leonardo da Vinci’s power and grace, Europe News & Top Stories

June 25, 2021

June 25, 2021

AMBOISE, FRANCE (AFP) – A new virtual gallery of Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings that plunges the viewer into the Renaissance...

Britain pledges patient health data revamp to accelerate treatment, Europe News & Top Stories

June 22, 2021

June 22, 2021

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) – Mr Boris Johnson’s government promised to revamp healthcare data in England to give patients easier access to...

A million Europeans already have EU Covid-19 certificate, Europe News & Top Stories

June 8, 2021

June 8, 2021

STRASBOURG, FRANCE (AFP) – More than one million Europeans have received the new EU Covid-19 health certificate being rolled out...

Italy cools relations with China as Draghi government prioritises multilateralism, Europe News & Top Stories

June 23, 2021

June 23, 2021

LONDON – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has urged Italy to “play a constructive role” in promoting the “stability and...

Delta Covid-19 variant may spark ‘catastrophic’ wave in Kenya in weeks, World News & Top Stories

June 29, 2021

June 29, 2021

NAIROBI (BLOOMBERG) – The highly contagious Covid-19 delta variant may spark a fourth wave of infections in Kenya over the...

Labour veteran Herzog elected Israel’s 11th president, Middle East News & Top Stories

June 2, 2021

June 2, 2021

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israel’s Parliament elected the even-keeled Labour veteran Isaac Herzog as its 11th president on Wednesday (June 2),...