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Taliban hopeful for deal on Kabul airport with Turkey, Qatar

Taliban hopeful for deal on Kabul airport with Turkey, Qatar


While attending the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, Afghanistan's acting foreign minister told Anadolu Agency on Saturday that he is "hopeful" on reaching an agreement with Turkey and Qatar on operating the airport servicing the Afghan capital.

Noting that agreement had been secured 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 Antalya Diplomacy Forum, Muttaqi said: "I hope we can come to an agreement and put it into practice as soon as possible."

Read more: Taliban, US, 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 the Afghan capital Kabul.

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

In late December 2021, diplomatic sources told Anadolu Agency that Turkey and Qatar agreed to jointly operate Kabul International Airport.

The Taliban returned to power last August to form an interim government in Afghanistan after the complete exit of foreign forces from the country. The West-backed administration melted down 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 20-year-long bloody war that saw 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 responds positively to these expectations."

On 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 can bring the wealth of the oppressed Afghan people under their own control," he added.

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

Muttaqi met Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani and Tom West, US special representative for Afghanistan, read an Afghan Foreign Ministry statement.

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


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