By Ahmed Youssef
DOHA, Qatar (AA) – Turkey and Qatar are reportedly working out details of a long-rumored deal to operate the airport in the Afghan capital Kabul, diplomatic sources told Anadolu Agency on Friday.
After talks during Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu's Dec. 7 visit to Qatar, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Turkish and Qatari firms to operate the airport as an equal partnership, the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media, said initially on Thursday.
“Doha and Ankara have agreed to jointly operate Kabul International Airport,” along with four other airports in Afghanistan, now under interim Taliban administration, the sources added Friday on condition of anonymity.
Describing the talks between the sides as "productive and effective,” the sources said "joint technical teams will be formed to negotiate the details of the operations,” which are expected to be concluded in the coming days.
“Over the next week there will be technical meetings between the Turkish-Qatari delegation on the one hand and the (interim) Afghan administration on the other hand regarding operational details,” the sources said.
They added that the Turkish-Qatari delegation will travel later Friday from Kabul to Doha, where they will continue the talks.
There was no immediate comment from the Turkish or Qatari officials on the matter.
Flights were suspended at Afghanistan's main international airport in Kabul after the Taliban took over power in August and US troops destroyed equipment and a radar system at the facility before leaving the country.
* Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar