- Title: Maas touches down in Turkey to discuss Afghanistan crisis
- Date: 29th August 2021
- Summary: ANTALYA, TURKEY (AUGUST 29, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER HEIKO MAAS ARRIVING IN TURKEY
- Embargoed: 12th September 2021 17:37
- Keywords: Afghanistan Germany Turkey Heiko Maas Mevlut Cavusoglu
- Location: ANTALYA, TURKEY
- City: ANTALYA, TURKEY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Europe,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001ESC1TMV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas touched down in Turkey on Sunday (August 29), kicking off a tour of neighbouring countries such as Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Pakistan to discuss regional security during the crisis in Afghanistan.
Maas thanked Turkey for the cooperation so far. He emphasised the German government's promise to bring German citizens and Afghans entitled to protection, including former local staff, journalists, and human rights activists, back to Germany.
He said that to do so, Kabul airport must continue running.
Turkey, which is part of the NATO mission, has been responsible for security at the airport for the last six years. The Taliban have asked Turkey for technical help to run the airport after next Tuesday's deadline for all foreign military forces to pull out of Afghanistan, an ultimatum they say applies equally to Turkish troops.
NATO allies are struggling to ensure that Afghanistan's main gateway, Kabul airport, remains open for urgently needed humanitarian aid flights next week when they end their evacuation airlifts and turn it over to the Taliban.
The airport, a lifeline for tens of thousands of evacuees fleeing Taliban fighters in the past two weeks and for aid arriving to relieve the impact of drought and conflict, was hit by a deadly suicide bombing outside its gates on Thursday (August 26).
(Production: Barbara Woolsey)
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