Islamist Turkey Confirms ‘Dialogue’ with Taliban, ‘Welcomes’ Jihadist Messaging

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gives a joint press conference with his Jordanian counterpart at the foreign ministry headquarters in Amman on August 17, 2021. - Turkey's foreign minister said on August 17 that Ankara was taking a wait-and-see approach about its offer to protect Afghanistan's Kabul airport. Ankara has …
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The foreign ministry of Turkey said at a press conference Tuesday it “welcomes” messages from the Taliban, including the terror group’s claims that it will ensure security for foreign embassies in Kabul following its capture of the Afghan national capital Sunday.

“We would like to say that we welcome the messages given by the Taliban so far,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters during a joint press conference with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi in Amman, Jordan, on August 16.

“Cavusoglu said he was referring to the group’s messages on foreigners and diplomatic missions in the country, as well as Afghanistan’s people,” Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

“I hope we see this in action as well,” the foreign minister added.

Ankara is currently “in dialogue with all sides in Afghanistan, including the Taliban,” Cavusoglu revealed at Tuesday’s press conference. 

Jordanian Foreign Minister Al-Safadi said at the same conference that Jordan “hope[s] to see a unity government in Afghanistan with the Afghan rivals agreeing on a mechanism that secures the peace and stability of the country.”

The Taliban seized control of Kabul on August 15, ousting the U.S.-backed government from the capital after a months-long campaign to dislodge Afghan government forces from the rest of the country. The jihadist group held a press conference in Kabul on August 17.

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)

“[W]e would like to assure that the areas where there are embassies, there will be complete security,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters at Tuesday’s briefing.

“Therefore all foreign countries and your representatives, your embassies, your missions, international organizations, aid agencies, I would like to assure you that we will not allow anybody to do anything against you,” he said.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid (L) gestures as he speaks during the first press conference in Kabul on August 17, 2021 following the Taliban stunning takeover of Afghanistan. (Photo by Hoshang Hashimi / AFP) (Photo by HOSHANG HASHIMI/AFP via Getty Images)

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid gestures as he speaks during the first press conference in Kabul on August 17, 2021 following the Taliban stunning takeover of Afghanistan. (HOSHANG HASHIMI/AFP via Getty Images)

“Your security is assured. Our forces are there 24 hours around the clock to ensure your security, undoubtedly,” Mujahid added.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan offered to meet with the Taliban on August 11 to help mediate Afghanistan’s security crisis. He made the proposal before the Taliban seized Kabul, though the jihadist group had reconquered many major Afghan provinces and cities at the time and would continue to seize control over even more territories in the coming days.

“Turkey’s relevant institutions are currently working until we have some talks with the Taliban. Maybe even I can be in a position to receive the person who will be their leader,” Erdoğan said during a live interview broadcast by the Turkish news channels Kanal D and CNN Turk.

Erdoğan leads Turkey’s Islamist ruling party, the Justice and Development (AKP) party. Turkey, Afghanistan, and Jordan are all majority Sunni Muslim nations. Turkey is a U.S. ally and fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member. The country has maintained a troop presence in Afghanistan since 2001 and had roughly 600 troops in the country as of August 17. Jordan is likewise a close ally of the U.S., though not a NATO member state.

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