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Erdogan discusses situation in Afghanistan with Merkel and Putin

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey is already hosting five million asylum seekers and cannot handle an additional burden of migration from Afghanistan.

Afghan nationals are seen to be evacuated from the country via the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 20, 2021. (Reuters)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned of a new wave of refugee influx if necessary measures are not taken in Afghanistan and Iran in a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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Erdogan and Merkel on Saturday discussed the developments in Afghanistan, particularly the issue of refugees, along with regional issues and bilateral relations, according to a statement by Turkey’s Communications Directorate.

Turkey, hosting 5 million refugees and migrants, cannot handle an additional burden of migration from Afghanistan, he added.

“It is essential to prevent a humanitarian tragedy in the face of migration from Afghanistan and provide urgent assistance to these people in Afghanistan and neighbouring countries,” he noted.

Inclusive government

Turkey also had talks with Iran and increased the measures along the Iranian border, Erdogan said, adding that Europe has important duties to resolve the issue of irregular migration from Afghanistan as soon as possible before it turns into a crisis.

The new government to be established in Afghanistan should be inclusive, representing all Afghan people, he said, stressing that it is important to start talks between the Taliban and Afghan leaders in Kabul on peace and security issues.

Referring to the developments in Afghanistan, Erdogan said: “Turkey can continue to take the responsibility for the security and operating of the Kabul airport under relevant conditions.”

Erdogan, Putin speak on phone

Meanwhile, President Erdogan had a phone conversation with the Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

The two leaders discussed regional issues, especially steps to improve Turkey-Russia relations and developments in Afghanistan, according to a statement by Turkey’s Communications Directorate.

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