Taliban hope for Kabul airport deal with Turkey and Qatar

ANTALYA:

While attending the Diplomatic Forum in Antalya, the acting Afghan foreign minister told Anadolu Agency on Saturday that he hoped to reach an agreement with Turkey and Qatar on the operation of the airport. serving the Afghan capital.

Noting that agreement had been reached on “a number of issues regarding Kabul airport” with these two countries, Amir Khan Muttaqi said some remained to be resolved.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomatic Forum, Muttaqi said, “I hope we can reach an agreement and put it into practice as soon as possible.”

Read more: Taliban, US and Qatar hold trilateral meeting in Turkey

Last January, Qatar, Turkey and the Taliban-led interim government in Afghanistan agreed on “several key issues” to operate the airport in Kabul, the Afghan capital.

Flights were suspended at Afghanistan’s main international airport in Kabul after the Taliban seized power last August and US troops destroyed equipment and a radar system at the facility before leaving the country.

At the end of December 2021, diplomatic sources said Anadolu Agency Turkey and Qatar have agreed to jointly operate Kabul International Airport.

The Taliban returned to power last August to form an interim government in Afghanistan after the complete departure of foreign forces from the country. The Western-backed administration collapsed and its officials fled the country.

Also read: Not for the faint-hearted, Afghan Taliban embrace Buzkashi in new Afghanistan

The return of the Taliban marked the end of a bloody 20-year war that has seen tens of hundreds of innocent Afghans killed in the armed conflict.

“Our message to the whole world is that we want cooperation and good relations with everyone,” he added. “I hope the international community will respond positively to these expectations.”

When forming a new government in Afghanistan, Muttaqi said he could not give “an exact date for the establishment of an inclusive government”.

He also called on all Afghan opponents who left the country to return to Afghanistan.

“Neither the US President (Joe Biden) nor anyone else can control the wealth of the oppressed Afghan people,” he added.

On Friday, senior officials from Afghanistan, Qatar and the United States held a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the forum in Antalya.

Muttaqi met with Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, and Tom West, the United States Special Representative for Afghanistan, read a statement from the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs foreign.

The three-day high-level forum in the resort town of Antalya brought together participants from 75 countries, including 17 heads of state, 80 ministers and 39 representatives of international organizations.

Sharon P. Juarez