The Afghan Taliban announced that it considers the decision of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to keep its forces to secure Kabul International Airport as a continuation of the occupation of Afghanistan, while employees of polio vaccination campaigns were killed in an attack in Nangarhar province.
The movement considered that what was announced by NATO is a clear violation of the Doha agreement achieved between the Taliban and the United States, and added that the alliance wants to make Afghanistan a competitive arena with regional powers, and this is unacceptable.
She said that “an Islamic country like Turkey should not take over the protection of Kabul International Airport,” and that “this will have negative repercussions on the future of Turkey and the Afghan people.”
The Taliban pledged not to use Afghan territory against others, and not to allow the survival of any military presence for any country, whatever it was, as it put it.
The Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, announced yesterday that the alliance had not taken a decision during the summit of its leaders regarding the management of Kabul International Airport after the withdrawal of US and NATO forces from there.
When asked about a prospective Turkish role in the security supervision of Kabul Airport, Stoltenberg said that Turkey will play a major role in this matter, without giving further details.
NATO has pledged to provide funding for the Kabul airport for a transitional period.
US forces are putting the final touches on their withdrawal from Afghanistan, which would officially end by September 11.
In a parallel context, Al-Jazeera correspondent in Afghanistan quoted a government official as saying that 4 employees of the polio vaccination campaigns were killed and 3 others were wounded by unidentified gunmen in the eastern province of Nangarhar.
Afghan cities have witnessed a wave of assassinations since the start of peace talks between the Taliban movement and the Afghan government last year, many of them targeting government employees, health workers, media and civil society.
In late May, Afghanistan launched its second annual polio vaccination campaign, which aims to vaccinate nearly one million children under five years of age, with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization.