republicworld– Turkey has pulled out all of its civilians and military from Afghanistan apart from a small number of technicians, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday.
Erdogan criticised the the manner of the U.S. withdrawal, saying that the exit should have been done “more carefully”, and that withdrawing from countries “by handing them over to terrorist organizations has a high cost”.
Commenting on the rivalry between the Taliban and Afghanistan’s offshoot of the Islamic State group, who claimed Thursday’s deadly suicide bombing outside Kabul’s airport, Erdogan said that “it is unthinkable that Turkey or any other country will profit from their conflict.”
Earlier Friday, Erdogan said Turkey was in talks with the Taliban over providing technical support to keep the airport running after NATO forces leave.
He is currently on a three day tour of the Balkans with meetings schedule to focus on investments and trade.
The prospect of Turkey operating Hamid Karzai International Airport after the withdrawal of foreign troops was first raised in June but seemed to have passed when the Taliban took Kabul on Aug. 15.