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Turkey says talks with the Taliban over operating Kabul Airport are still ongoing

Turkey's FM Cavusoglu attends a press conference in Antalya
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a news conference after meeting with his counterparts, Russia’s Sergei Lavrov and Ukraine’s Dmytro Kuleba, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Antalya, Turkey March 10, 2022. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

March 13, 2022

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Sunday said talks with the Taliban over operating Kabul’s airport were still ongoing, a day after he met Afghan acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in southern Turkey.

Turkey has said it is ready to operate Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport alongside Qatar after the Islamist Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August, but only if their security requirements are met.

Asked if he would invite Taliban officials to a diplomatic forum in southern Turkey over the weekend, Cavusoglu told reporters it does not mean Ankara recognizes the Taliban leadership, adding that the interim government in Afghanistan must be heard .

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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Bobby Allyn

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