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Turkey, US agree on 'scope' of how to secure Kabul airport: Erdogan

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A file photo of Hamid Karzai International airport in Kabul, Afghanistan (By AP)

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey has reached an agreement with the United States on the "scope" of how to secure Kabul airport under the control of Turkish forces.

Erdogan said on Friday that providing the airport security that has become a main concern for the US, was discussed between the defense ministers of the two side’s on Thursday.

"During discussions with America and NATO, we decided on what would be the scope of the mission, what we would accept and not accept," he said.

The airport has long been the main exit route for Western diplomats and aid workers.

The US, which appears on track to complete its formal withdrawal ahead of the September 11 deadline, has already called for NATO to protect Kabul airport for an undetermined period.

Last month, Erdogan held talks with US President Joe Biden in Brussels on the sidelines of a NATO summit, where the two sides discussed the outlines of a potential plan. 

According to Pentagon officials, Turkey is expected to provide 600 to 1,000 troops to secure the airport. 

Turkey, a NATO member, currently has about 600 troops in Afghanistan.

Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has said last month that Ankara would not be sending additional troops to increase its contingent in Afghanistan.

The Taliban, meanwhile, has called on Turkey to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan under a deal reached between the US and the Afghan militants in Qatar’s capital, Doha, last year.

But president Erdogan said previously that Turkey is the only country that can be trusted to continue the process after the withdrawal.

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