Putin, Erdogan to strengthen coordination on Afghan issues


MOSCOW:

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan discussed the situation in Afghanistan during a phone call and agreed to strengthen bilateral coordination on Afghan issues, the Kremlin said in a statement on Saturday.

The presidents emphasised the priorities were counter-terrorism and tackling drug trafficking, the Kremlin said.

Taliban militants seized control of Kabul last weekend, sending thousands of civilians and Afghan military allies fleeing for safety. read more

President Erdogan voiced hopes for a soft transition in the country and said that it was important that the Taliban not repeat previous mistakes and to keep their promises with an ethnically inclusive approach.

Read Taliban claim progress in regime talks

“The new government to be formed in Afghanistan should be inclusive and representative of the diversity of the Afghan people,” Erdogan told Putin according to a readout following the call.

On Wednesday, Erdogan said Turkey still aims to maintain security at Kabul airport, after Taliban fighters took control of Afghanistan’s capital.

Last week, China said it was ready to deepen “friendly and cooperative” relations with Afghanistan after the Taliban seized control of the country.

Beijing sought to maintain unofficial ties with the Taliban throughout the US’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, which spurred an advance by the hardliners across the country that saw them capture the capital Kabul last Sunday.

Beijing has long feared Afghanistan could become a staging point for minority Uyghur separatists in the sensitive border region of Xinjiang.




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