Erdogan says Taliban current actions not inclusive

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin (not pictured) following talks in Moscow, Russia

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday the Taliban’s current approach and their interim government were not inclusive but Turkey was willing to work with them if they formed a more encompassing government, broadcaster Haberturk reported.

NATO member Turkey has been working with Qatar to operate Kabul airport and open it for international travel after the Taliban took power and foreign countries withdrew from Afghanistan.

It welcomed the Taliban’s initial messages, but said Turkey would evaluate its engagement and recognition of the Taliban based on their actions.

“Looking at the Taliban’s approach right now, unfortunately an inclusive, encompassing leadership has not been formed,” Haberturk quoted Erdogan as telling reporters after attending the UN General Assembly in New York.

Earlier this month the Taliban appointed hardline veterans to an all-male cabinet.

“At the moment, there are only some signals (about) the possibility of some changes, that there may be a more inclusive atmosphere in the leadership,” Erdogan said. “We have not seen this yet. If such a step can be taken, then we may move on to the point of discussing what we can do together”.

Erdogan’s comments come after Turkey’s ambassador to Kabul, Cihad Erginay, met Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi. Erginay said on Twitter he pledged “Turkey’s continued support to the Afghan people and commitment to build upon our historic ties”.

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