US entrusts Kabul airport’s security to Turkey

Published June 18, 2021
In this file photo taken on May 8, 2018, people arrive at the domestic terminal of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. — AFP
In this file photo taken on May 8, 2018, people arrive at the domestic terminal of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. — AFP

WASHINGTON: Presi­dent Joe Biden and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan agreed in a meeting this week that Turkey would take a lead role in securing Kabul airport as the United States withdraws troops from Afghanistan, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Thursday.

However, the two leaders were not able to resolve the long-standing issue of Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 defence systems, Sullivan said, a bitter dispute that strained ties between the Nato allies. He added that dialogue on the issue would continue.

“The clear commitment from the leaders was established that Turkey would play a lead role in securing Hamid Karzai International Airport and we are now working through how to execute to get to that,” Sullivan said.

The United States takes seriously the concern over the Taliban militia potentially attacking the international missions in Afgha­nistan, he said.

Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2021

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