Turkey will work with Pakistan to help stabilize Afghanistan and prevent a new flood of refugees, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Sunday, Agence France-Presse reported.
“Turkey is facing a growing migratory wave of Afghans transiting through Iran,” he said, alongside his Pakistan counterpart Arif Alvi.
“We will continue efforts to enable the return of stability in the region, beginning with Afghanistan,” Erdoğan said.
“To do that, we have to pursue and strengthen our cooperation with Pakistan.”
“We are determined to mobilize all the means at our disposal to succeed,” the Turkish leader said.
The Taliban resurgence comes after NATO troops withdrew following a decision by US President Joe Biden to pull out.
The Pakistani president was in İstanbul for the launch of a naval vessel built by Turkey for the south Asian nation that borders Afghanistan and is a key regional player.
Turkey has several hundred soldiers deployed in Afghanistan and has offered to take charge of security at Kabul’s international airport after the US completes its military withdrawal by the end of August, provided financial and logistical support are forthcoming.
Erdoğan has also proposed meeting with the Taliban leader for talks.
The arrival of Afghan migrants on Turkey’s eastern border has become a hot political topic in Ankara, with the opposition pressing the government to take strong measures to stop the influx.
The government has responded by stepping up the construction of a border wall with Iran in recent days.
“With this wall, we will totally stop the arrivals,” Erdoğan said Sunday.