Erdogan Might Host Taliban Leader As US Ex-Ambassador Blasts Biden For “Handover” To Enemies
At a moment the Biden administration seems to have resigned itself to sitting by and watching as the Taliban takes back all of Afghanistan, and as the Pentagon has revised its assessment saying it fears Kabul will fall within one month to 90 days, Turkey is setting itself up to be a major player in the country after the dust settles.
This could involve Turkey doing its own deal with the Taliban, while being the last major NATO member presence in the country amid the US exit, given Turkish troops are still running and guarding Kabul international airport as the last foreign troops are still flying out.
On Wednesday President Tayyip Erdogan raised eyebrows by for the first time saying he might soon meet with the leader of the Taliban, Haibatullah Akhundzada, in Turkey.
Erdogan made the statements to CNN Turk, and cast the prospect of such a controversial potential meeting as part of efforts to end the fighting in Afghanistan. Here’s what he said according to translation on Daily Sabah:
“The latest developments and the situation of the Afghan public are really, really troubling,” Erdoğan said.
“Maybe I will even be in a position to receive the person who is their leader,” Erdoğan added, after referring to efforts by Turkish officials for talks with the Taliban.
Erdoğan last month said Turkey would hold discussions with the Taliban as part of the peace process.
“Why? Because if we do not get control of things like this at a high level, it won’t be possible to secure peace this time in Afghanistan,” he added
He also in Wednesday statements criticized the US for encouraging allies on the ground in Afghanistan who had worked with the US coalition – such as local Afghan translators and security personal (now being threatened by the Taliban and other Islamists) – to seek the safety of regional countries before seeking asylum in the US.
As Bloomberg describes of the scathing comments:
Turkey on Wednesday blasted the U.S. for recommending that Afghans fearful of a vengeful Taliban seek asylum in America from third countries.
“Turkey does not, and will not, serve as any country’s waiting room,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s communications director, Fahrettin Altun, told Bloomberg on Wednesday. “We will continue to do everything in our power to preserve the safety of our borders.”
Meanwhile the Biden administration continues to face criticism and anger over the scale of just how fast things have deteriorated, given as one senior EU official has pointed out over 65% of the country is now firmly in Taliban control, including at least eight provincial capitals.
Any private who served in Afghanistan could have told you this would happen. https://t.co/ioFNErrrDr
— Jack Murphy (@JackMurphyRGR) August 11, 2021
A prominent former US ambassador to Afghanistan under the Obama administration, Ryan Crocker, has gone so far as to lash out at Biden for abandoning the country the US spent 20 years attempting to secure to the Islamist enemies.
“This is a handover to the Taliban,” Crocker told Bloomberg TV Wednesday. He said the US-backed national government now perceives “rightly that we have hung them out to dry. We did a deal with their enemy.”
Wed, 08/11/2021 – 22:00
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