ANKARA: Turkey is committed to supporting the people of Afghanistan, Ankara’s Ambassador to Kabul Cihad Erginay said.
Erginay and the Taliban’s acting foreign minister held talks Wednesday in which they discussed humanitarian aid, health, Afghan refugees and students. Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi requested that Ankara complete its projects in Afghanistan while speaking to Erginay, emphasizing the desire to maintain relations and cooperation. Erginay stated that he and Muttaqi exchanged views on topics such as education, health and development, and thanked Muttaqi for “his warm hospitality.” The Taliban victory in Afghanistan has not led to a dramatic refugee exodus but the country urgently needs humanitarian aid to prevent economic collapse and major upheaval, according to the United Nations.
Half a million people had been displaced within Afghanistan in recent months, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi said, a number which would grow if health services, schools and the economy break down.
Even before the Taliban launched its final push to seize control, 3 million Afghans were already displaced in a country struggling with drought and the COVID-19 pandemic, and where nearly half the population was receiving some form of aid.
The UNHCR said recently that up to half a million Afghans could leave their homeland by the end of the year in a worst-case scenario. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told a live broadcast on NTV recently that the best way to solve the Afghan migrant crisis is to solve the conflict domestically to ensure that people are not forced to leave their homes.
Some 570,000 people migrated in the past year, while 3 million fled Afghanistan in 2020, Çavuşoğlu said, adding that economic problems were the main reason behind the migrations. He said it is crucial to also provide assistance to neighboring countries like Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Iran. Furthermore, Turkey’s top diplomat said that a humanitarian and security crisis in Afghanistan could have effects throughout the world.
Addressing a high-level U.N. ministerial meeting last week on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, convened by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Çavuşoğlu underlined that it is a moral duty to deliver humanitarian aid to the Afghan people and that “a humanitarian and security crisis in Afghanistan would have direct implications across the globe.”