Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the United States on Tuesday to meet “conditions” including financial, logistical and diplomatic support, so that Turkey can run and guard Kabul airport after other foreign troops withdraw from Afghanistan.
Erdogan acknowledged that the Taliban had reservations but said Turkey would nonetheless carry out the mission as long as the United States, a NATO partner, meets three specific Turkish requirements.
“If these conditions could be met, we are thinking of taking over the management of Kabul airport,” he said, listing diplomatic backing for Turkey as well as the U.S. handover of facilities and logistics in Afghanistan.
“There will be serious financial and administrative difficulties … (the United States) will give the necessary support to Turkey in this respect as well,” Erdogan added, after attending morning prayers during the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.
Turkey hopes the airport mission will help soothe U.S. ties that are strained on several fronts including its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defences, Reuters reported.