Turkey can play active role in restoring Afghanistan, says Taliban official
Turkey can play an active role in Afghanistan through various project that serve to renovate and restore the war-torn country, a leading Taliban official said on Sunday.
Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi made the remarks in an interview with Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency.
The official led a Taliban delegation to Turkey on Thursday to discuss bilateral issues and cooperation on the future of Afghanistan.
Ankara can play “an active role in investing, realizing some projects, renovating and restoring Afghanistan," with the resources it possesses, Muttaqi said.
Turkey has maintained a non-combat military role in Afghanistan with around 500 troops in the country for the last two-decades. The country had been negotiating with the United States to continue operating Kabul airport and to provide security there when the Taliban took over the war-battered nation in August.
Erdoğan recently announced that, unlike other NATO members, Ankara will maintain its diplomatic presence in Kabul.
Thursday marked Ankara’s first high-level contact with the new administration in Afghanistan.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Muttaqi on Thursday held a meeting where they discussed issues related to the official recognition of the Taliban and assets belonging to Afghanistan that were blocked by the United States, Anadolu said.
Muttaqi called the U.S. freezing of reserves following the Taliban's takeover a violation of international law and human rights.
“The U.S. and other countries say that humanitarian aid should be given to Afghanistan and human rights should be respected. But, they leave the Afghan people with a population of about 40 million without basic necessities,” Anadolu cited Muttaqi as saying on Sunday.
Such issues were brought to the forefront by Turkish authorities at a news conference on Wednesday, he added.
Çavuşoğlu on Thursday said Turkey believed that countries that have frozen Afghanistan’s foreign accounts should show “more flexibility” in allowing salaries to be paid in reference to Taliban’s inability to access Afghanistan’s foreign funds, AP reported.
Turkey can play “an active role in investing, realizing some projects, renovating and restoring Afghanistan," with the resources it possesses, according to that country’s acting foreign minister.