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Afghanistan: Erdogan to work with Pakistan to stop influx of Afghan refugees

Statements come with Taliban poised to take power after reaching Kabul, as Afghan president flees the country
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said a wall being built on the Iran borders will help prevent a new wave of Afghan refugees (AFP/file photo)

Turkey's president said on Sunday that his country is intensifying measures to stop the influx of refugees from Afghanistan and is working with Pakistan to stabilise the region, with the Taliban poised to capture the Afghan capital.

"Turkey is facing a growing migratory wave of Afghans transiting through Iran," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said alongside his Pakistan counterpart, Arif Alvi.

"We will continue efforts to enable the return of stability in the region, beginning with Afghanistan," he added.

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"To do that, we have to pursue and strengthen our cooperation with Pakistan."

Erdogan added that the wall currently being built by Turkey on the border with Iran will help prevent the entry of migrants.

"With this wall, we will totally stop the arrivals," Erdogan said Sunday.

The government stepped up its construction of the wall as the opposition has called for stronger measures to prevent the influx of Afghan migrants via Iran.

The statements come with the Taliban poised to take power after it reached Kabul earlier today. The Afghan president has fled the country.

The Taliban's advance onto Kabul marks a victorious end to its 10-day offensive to take back power after it was toppled by US-led forces two decades ago in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

On Wednesday, Erdogan left the door open to a possible meeting with the Taliban's official leader, whom he did not name, to discuss the situation regarding Kabul international airport, which Ankara wants to continue to protect.

A spokesman for the group later told Middle East Eye that Taliban leaders are willing to meet with President Erdogan "under the right circumstances". 

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