Turkey “cautiously optimistic” about relations with Afghanistan

Turkey “cautiously optimistic” about relations with Afghanistan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that his country is currently dealing with messages from the Afghan Taliban leaders with “cautious optimism.”

“The Taliban’s actions and not its words, will determine the future Afghanistan process,” the Turkish president said, adding that “Turkey will continue close dialogue with all parties in Afghanistan, in line with the goal of stability of the country.”

Erdogan’s statement coincided with the announcement by the Turkish Defence Ministry that the evacuation of its troops from Afghanistan would begin “after assessing various contacts, the situation and current circumstances.”

The Taliban, which controls most of Afghanistan, said they “do not want to see Turkish soldiers in the country.”

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said on Tuesday: “We want good relations with Turkey, but we don’t want military presence in Afghanistan.”

The Taliban, officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, have announced that they will not accept any foreign troops on Afghan soil.