NATO Helps To Keep Kabul Airport Open To Facilitate Evacuations – Stoltenberg

NATO helps maintain Kabul airport operation to keep Afghanistan in touch with the outside world, the alliance spokesman told Sputnik on Sunday.

As Taliban Seizes Power, China Poised To Make ‘Big Gains’ In Afghanistan

“NATO is constantly assessing developments in Afghanistan. We are helping to maintain operations at Kabul airport to keep Afghanistan connected with the world. We also maintain our diplomatic presence in Kabul.

The security of our personnel is paramount, and we continue to adjust as necessary. We support Afghan efforts to find a political solution to the conflict, which is now more urgent than ever.”

Afghanistan has been seeing a spike in violence in the past weeks amid speedy territorial gains by the Taliban all over the country. On Sunday, the radical movement seized Kabul and started negotiations with the government on the transition of power.

Earlier, Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani left the country on Sunday as the Taliban marched on the capital Kabul, officials confirmed. In a video message, Abdullah Abdullah, Afghanistan’s top peace broker, said that Ghani has left the country.

Afghanistan’s Defense minister Gen. Bismillah Muhammadi has harshly criticized Ghani, saying: “They tied our hands behind our backs and sold the homeland, damn the rich man and his gang.”

Earlier, Turkey had expressed interest to guard the Kabul Airport.  Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar had stated that the role of the Turkish military in the future management of the international airport in Kabul will be decided in the coming days.

“As in the previous six years, we are ready to ensure the operation of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan, subject to necessary conditions.

We are holding a series of negotiations on this issue. The issue will be clarified in the coming days. We do not intend to endanger our military,” Akar told reporters during his visit to Pakistan, as broadcast by the NTV channel.

Ankara’s goal is to prevent the isolation of Afghanistan, according to the minister. If the airport in Kabul is shut, all diplomatic missions in the country would have to close, he had explained.

Turkey is taking all necessary measures to strengthen the border with Iran to prevent a new wave of migration from Afghanistan as the situation worsens, Akar added.