"Turkey's military presence in Afghanistan to strengthen new Kabul administration’s hand in international arena" Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says in a TV interview.
Turkey welcomes the moderate statements made by Taliban leaders, the Turkish president said on Wednesday.
“Turkey is ready for all kinds of cooperation for peace in Afghanistan, well-being of our kin in the country and protection of Turkey’s interests,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a joint TV interview broadcast live on Kanal 7, Ulke TV, 24 TV, TVNET and TV 360.
“We welcome restrained and moderate statements made by the Taliban so far,” he added.
He said Turkey's military presence in Afghanistan will strengthen the new Kabul administration's hand in the international arena.
“No matter who is in the administration, standing with Afghanistan in good and bad times is the requirement of brotherhood," Erdogan added.
On the security of Kabul airport, he said that Turkey is making its plans according to the new realities on the ground and continuing negotiations accordingly.
Turkey’s priority is to ensure peace and security of Turks in Afghanistan, Erdogan stressed, adding that 552 Turkish citizens have so far been evacuated from the country.
The Turkish leader said that he will likely talk to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin by the weekend.
Evacuations from Kabul
Meanwhile, a Turkish Armed Forces airplane carrying over 200 Turkish citizens departed the Afghan capital on Wednesday.
After waiting in the safe zone of Hamid Karzai International Airport, the citizens left Kabul on board an A400M plane, also known as a "flying fortress."
They will be brought to Istanbul from the Pakistani capital Islamabad via a Turkish Airlines plane, and efforts to evacuate all Turkish nationals continue.
As part of a peace deal reached in February 2020 between the US and the Taliban, this year international forces began their withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The agreement mandated that the Taliban not target foreign forces, but there was no provision on its action towards Afghan security forces.
While keeping negotiations with the government going in Doha, Qatar, the Taliban intensified its attacks since June, taking control of many districts and provincial centers in the past month.
The Taliban on Sunday seized the capital Kabul resident Ashraf Ghani and other key officials left the country.