In phone call, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Vladimir Putin stress need for stability, peace, order in Afghanistan.
MOSCOW/ANKARA/ISTANBUL (AA) – The presidents of Turkey and Russia discussed the situation in Afghanistan in a phone call on Saturday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed regional issues, especially steps to improve Turkey-Russia relations and developments in Afghanistan, according to a statement by Turkey’s Communications Directorate.
The two leaders expressed mutual condolences for the Turkish and Russian crew who died in the Russian plane that crashed while fighting a fire in Turkey’s southern Kahramanmaras province last week.
Both countries attach great importance to cooperation in the energy sector, Erdogan noted, saying Turkey expects a rise in the flow of gas from TurkAkim.
Addressing the developments in Afghanistan, he added that Turkey can in the future continue to take the responsibility of maintaining the security and operating of the Kabul airport under relevant conditions, which will contribute to the elimination of concerns of all parties, particularly the international public and Afghan people.
He stressed that Turkey wishes for a smooth transition in Afghanistan, stressing that it is important that the Taliban do not repeat their past mistakes, be inclusive, representing the diversity of the Afghan people, and implement their promises.
Erdogan also noted that the launch of peace and security talks between Taliban and Afghan leaders in Kabul is promising, recalling that in this process, the channels of dialogue with the Taliban should be kept open, and a gradual engagement should be followed, rather than implementing a strict approach.
For now, Turkey welcomes the moderate messages given by the Taliban, but the actions of the group, not their words, will shape the upcoming process, the Turkish president said.
The leaders also agreed to be in coordination regarding relations with the future government of Afghanistan.
Erdogan and Putin agreed to “strengthen bilateral coordination on the Afghan issue,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
They stressed the importance of ensuring stability, peace, and order in the country, it added.
Both leaders agreed that efforts to combat terrorism and drug trafficking must be a top priority, read the statement.
Erdogan and Putin also spoke about bilateral relations, including trade and economic cooperation, and collaboration in the energy sector, the Kremlin said.
They also exchanged condolences over the last week’s crash of a Russian firefighting plane in Turkey, in which three Turkish and five Russian servicemen were killed, it added.
The unexpected power grab by the Taliban earlier this week has triggered a rush to flee Afghanistan as many fear retribution.