By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: As the U.S. removes troops from Afghanistan, Turkey warns that the withdrawal could trigger a refugee crisis. Tens of thousands of refugees are reportedly leaving Afghanistan every week since the U.S. announced its plan to withdraw troops, and an estimated 500 to 2,000 arrive in Turkey every day. Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanu Bilgic recently called U.S. efforts to expand the Afghan refugee program “irresponsible.” “Turkey will not take over the international responsibilities of third countries,” said Bilgic. But political insider Armstrong Williams says that Turkey could play a “very key role” throughout the withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan. “They would secure the airport, provide military and other personnel,” said political insider Armstrong Williams to The National Desk’s Jan Jeffcoat. “The situation is explosive in Afghanistan right now and Biden did not want our troops sitting there just like sitting ducks.” Another issue of concern is the spread of COVID, with the number of fully vaccinated people in the country at roughly 45% of the population aged 18 and above. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said last week a recent rise in cases was connected to vaccination levels, particularly in local areas where vaccine hesitancy remains high. “The country is very concerned, they’re making every effort like many other countries,” said Williams. “Overall, Turkey’s done a very good job of combating Coronavirus, but they do need the vaccine.