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Turkey needs to build support for new Afghan mission

Turkey’s offer to secure Kabul’s airport might turn into a perilous mission unless it reaches some understanding with the Taliban and secures the critical support of regional actors such as Pakistan and Iran.
Kabul airport security detail
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Turkey is out to drum up support for its offer to take charge of Kabul’s airport after US-led NATO forces complete their withdrawal from Afghanistan in September. The Taliban’s objections stand out as a major uncertainty, adding importance to how Iran and Pakistan, two key neighbors of Afghanistan, will approach Turkey’s role.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu held a trilateral meeting with his Iranian and Afghan counterparts June 20 during a diplomatic forum in Turkey’s Mediterranean city of Antalya. A joint statement after the meeting emphasized the three countries’ commitment to increase cooperation and support “a sovereign, independent, democratic and unified Afghanistan,” but made no mention of Turkey’s offer to guard and run Kabul’s international airport.

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