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Erdogan says talks could be held with Taliban as part of efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan


The Turkish authorities are working to set talks with the Taliban, Turkey's president said on Wednesday.

"Turkey's relevant institutions are currently working until we have some talks with the Taliban. Maybe even I can be in a position to receive the person who will be their leader," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a joint TV interview broadcast live on CNN Turk and Kanal D.

Erdogan said that he earlier spoke with the Qatari leader and they discussed "where can we stop the steps taken by the Taliban and where can we take a step towards peace."

If the Taliban is not taken under control, "it will not be possible for us to achieve peace in Afghanistan," he asserted.

Violence has escalated across Afghanistan as US-led foreign forces have almost withdrawn following 20 years of military operations.


Drawing to irregular migrants from Afghanistan, Erdogan said that Turkey is raising walls along borders with both Iran and Iraq. "The walls rising there are to prevent these irregular migrants from entering our country."

A significant part of the irregular migrants held are deported to Afghanistan by Turkish institutions, he added.

Erdogan stressed that Turkey is not a place where anyone frequently stops by. "We evaluate all these and we take our steps accordingly."

The Turkish president also denied that there was a flow of irregular migrants across Turkey's borders, as it is "exaggerated on social media."

Turkey has been a key transit point for irregular migrants who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.


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