U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday stated that he felt good about the meeting he held with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Brussels.
When asked by a journalist if the two leaders reached an agreement on Turkey’s presence in Afghanistan after the U.S. withdrawal, Biden said: “We had a long discussion. I feel good about our meeting.
"In our meeting with Mr. Biden, we constructively handled issues that we differ on as well as areas of cooperation. We agreed to keep Turkey-U.S. dialogue channels open just like how strategic partners and allies do," Erdoğan said late Monday after a closed-door meeting with Biden.
In his press conference, Erdoğan also touched upon Afghanistan and the Turkish proposal to run Kabul airport following the departure of U.S. troops on Sept. 11.
"The U.S.' diplomatic, logistical and financial support is important in the case of a sustained Turkish presence in Afghanistan. We also conveyed to President Biden our desire to work alongside Pakistan and Hungary," he said.
Turkey's potential role in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the planned U.S. pullout could serve as an area of cooperation. Turkey has offered to guard and run Kabul's airport after NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan. The airport plan may offer a rare opportunity to build goodwill and trust and could help improve ties between Ankara and the West.
"We intend to stay in Afghanistan depending on conditions. What are our conditions? Political, financial and logistical support. If these are met, we can remain at Hamid Karzai International Airport," Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said last week. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also said that Turkey was discussing the security of the airport with allies, namely the U.S., but that no country could handle the mission without support.