Afghanistan Wants Continued Turkish Presence In The Country Post NATO Withdrawal – Afghan NSA

The Afghan government is working to ensure that Turkey takes over on the Kabul airport security after NATO troops withdraw, the Afghan president’s national security adviser, Hamdullah Mohib, told Sputnik.

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Turkey has offered to manage and guard the Kabul airport after NATO troops leave, but asked for financial and logistic backing on this.

Turkey and the United States have been discussing this arrangement, but no final decision has been reached yet, and the two are planning to keep discussing the security of Kabul’s international airport after the US pullout, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said last week.

File:Servicemen of the Turkish Special Forces Command, led by the Captain  Harun Ergin 3.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
File Image: Servicemen of the Turkish Special Forces Command, led by Captain Harun Ergin – Wikimedia Commons

“We’re working through it, there isn’t an issue with it. It’s just making the bureaucratic work to complete, but we’re not running out of time, we’re working through to make that happen,” Mohib said.

The Afghan government had been counting on and preparing for the foreign troops to leave by 2024, so it was expecting to be ready to manage the airport by that time, the security adviser explained. However, the official withdrawal began in May and the US is planning to complete the drawdown by the end of summer.

As a result, some of the training — for instance, for air traffic controllers — has yet to be completed, the security adviser went on. There is a need for the transition period, during which a NATO country — “which Turkey happens to be the perfect partner to do so,” — can step in to manage the airport until Afghans are ready to take over, Mohib said.