Taliban delegation lands in Turkey for 1st high-level talks

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A high-level delegation from Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers has arrived in Turkey for talks with Turkish officials, the Foreign Ministry announced Thursday.

The meetings in the capital of Ankara would be first between the Taliban and senior Turkish government officials after the group seized control of Afghanistan. The visiting delegation is led by Amir Khan Mutaqi, the acting foreign minister, according to a Taliban spokesman.

The visit comes after Taliban leaders held a series of meetings with the United States, 10 European nations and European Union representatives in Doha, the Qatari capital, this week.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a virtual meeting between the Group of 20 most powerful economies that the international community should keep the channels of dialogue with the Taliban open, to “patiently and gradually steer” them toward establishing a more inclusive government.

Erdogan said Turkey, which already hosts more than 3.6 million Syrians, cannot bear an influx of migrants from Afghanistan, warning that European nations would also be affected by a new wave of migrants.

The Taliban say they want international recognition. They warn that weakening their government will affect security and spark an even bigger exodus of migration from the country.

The current Afghan government, which the Taliban say is only interim, is comprised solely of Taliban figures, including several blacklisted by the United Nations.
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