Thursday 17th June 2021
Erdogan offers himself
AKK praises Turkey’s role in Afghanistan
In Afghanistan, Turkey is responsible for securing Kabul airport. President Erdogan offers to take on more responsibility in the Hindu Kush. Defense Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer supported the idea on her first visit to Ankara.
Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has sought to close ranks with Turkey on security policy regardless of political differences of opinion. On her first visit to Ankara, the CDU politician assured her colleague Hulusi Akar that Germany would be more involved in securing the NATO flank in the Black Sea region and at the same time encouraged the Turkish government to play an important role in Afghanistan – for example, the continued operation of the airport in Kabul.
“We agreed that in a first step, above all, the diplomatic missions must be retained. But this requires a safe infrastructure at the airport and a safe medical infrastructure,” said Kramp-Karrenbauer. “I am grateful that Turkey is ready to take on an essential role here. But we also agreed that it cannot be Turkey’s sole task. And that it is therefore also the support from the alliance and from the Partners. ”
Turkey is currently securing the Afghan capital’s international airport. If an international presence is to continue in the country after the withdrawal of the NATO mission “Resolute Support”, there must be a flight connection abroad for the foreign embassies. Recently, however, threats by the Taliban against Turkey have been loud.
“Germany is our friend, our partner”
According to a report by the state news agency Anadolu, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey could take on “much more responsibility” there after the US decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. At the beginning of the week, after his meeting with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the NATO summit, he said that Turkey needed “diplomatic, logistical and financial support” from the US if it were to take over supervision of the international airport after the departure date . He also said Hungary and Pakistan are desirable partners in Afghanistan after 9/11. It stands to reason, however, that Germany should also participate – at least financially – in such a task.
After the meeting with Kramp-Karrenbauer, Akar spoke of a sincere exchange of views in an atmosphere of mutual understanding. “Germany is our friend, our partner,” said Akar – in order to then quickly address the fundamental dispute over how to deal with the Kurdish PKK (“fight against terror down to the last terrorist”) and Germany’s ever less willingness to deliver arms to Turkey. “We also said that these restrictions had to be lifted,” he said.
Akar also recalled the important role that Turkey plays in caring for four million refugees in its own country and five million displaced people in Syria. If needs remain unfulfilled there, this could become a danger for Turkey and Europe.