Turkey Says International Flights to Kabul Hinge on Security

International flights to Kabul airport may not restart unless the Taliban agrees to allow international security firms to operate inside the terminal building, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Tuesday.

Turkey has sent a civil aviation team along with Qatar to reinstall critical equipment to operate the Hamid Karzai Airport but wants the Taliban to permit a private company to secure the terminal from the inside, Cavusoglu said.

“The Taliban may provide security outside of the airport but there is a need to establish security inside the airport that the international community can trust,” Cavusoglu told NTV television in an interview, adding that a security firm backed by one or two states may shoulder that responsibility. “Otherwise, insurance companies may not agree to start flights even if airlines want to do it.”

Taliban Say International Flights From Kabul to Start Soon

The resumption of international flights and allowing safe passage to Afghans who wish to leave the country are crucial to the Taliban’s efforts to win international legitimacy. Turkey is keen to help Afghanistan restart operations to gain a foothold in Taliban-led Afghanistan.

“If there are no security concerns in the future, then Afghan forces may” handle security, Cavusoglu said. “But no such trust exists now.”