Turkey and Qatar agree to jointly run Afghanistan’s Kabul airport

A memorandum of understanding was signed between Turkish and Qatari companies to jointly run Afghanistan’s Kabul airport, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Thursday. 

Citing diplomatic sources, Anadolu reported that the companies agreed “to operate the airport in collaboration on the basis of equal partnership.” 

The memorandum was signed when Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu visited the Qatari capital Doha for the seventh Turkey-Qatar High Strategic Committee Meeting on 7 December. 

A Turkish-Qatari delegation will visit Kabul to discuss the deal with Afghanistan’s interim government.

Turkey had agreed to provide security for the airport after the scheduled U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last August. However, that plan fell apart as the Taliban reconquered Afghanistan and captured Kabul. Along with the rest of the U.S.-led coalition, Turkey withdrew its troops from the country. 

The victorious Taliban requested technical help from Turkey to run the airport. However, the group said it would not accept any Turkish troop presence there, insisting that it would provide adequate security for any Turkish contractors working there. 

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