Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview the Taliban had “unfortunately” not formed an inclusive leadership and that Ankara will work with the country’s new rulers if they formed a more encompassing government.

Turkey’s President Erdogan addressed participants at the 76th UN General Assembly meetings at the United Nations General Assembly Hall, New York, September 21, 2021.
Turkey’s President Erdogan addressed participants at the 76th UN General Assembly meetings at the United Nations General Assembly Hall, New York, September 21, 2021. (AA)

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the Taliban's current approach and their interim government is not inclusive but Ankara was willing to work with them if they formed a more encompassing government.

NATO member Turkey has been working with Qatar to operate Kabul airport and open it for international travel after the Taliban took power and foreign countries withdrew from Afghanistan.

It welcomed the Taliban's initial messages but said Turkey would evaluate its engagement and recognition of the Taliban based on their actions.

"Looking at the Taliban's approach right now, unfortunately, an inclusive, encompassing leadership has not been formed," Erdogan told reporters after attending the UN General Assembly in New York.

READ MORE: Turkey’s Afghanistan offer: What’s next?

Inclusivity key to working together

Earlier this month, the Taliban appointed hardline veterans to an all-male cabinet, a large majority of them from the Pashtun ethnic group.

"At the moment, there are only some signals (about) the possibility of some changes, that there may be a more inclusive atmosphere in the leadership," Erdogan said. 

"We have not seen this yet. If such a step can be taken, then we may move on to the point of discussing what we can do together".

Erdogan's comments come after Turkey's ambassador to Kabul, Cihad Erginay, met Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.

Erginay said on Twitter he pledged "Turkey's continued support to the Afghan people and commitment to build upon our historic ties". 

READ MORE: Qatar’s leading role in post-US Afghanistan isn’t a coincidence

Source: Reuters