Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu discussed developments in Afghanistan and Kazakhstan with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in a phone call on Sunday, a statement issued by the ministry said.
"During the meeting, the latest developments in Afghanistan and Kazakhstan were discussed," the statement added.
Dozens of protesters and at least a dozen security officers have died in clashes in Kazakhstan's largest city and former capital Almaty, with scuffles ongoing in various spots.
Ankara and Doha enjoy strong relations, particularly since the 2017 blockade of the Gulf country by Saudi Arabia and others. The two countries have strengthened military and economic ties in recent years. The sixth meeting of the Turkey-Qatar Supreme Strategic Committee was held in 2020 in the Turkish capital Ankara. Ten agreements were signed between the two countries in the presence of the two leaders. Within the framework of the Supreme Strategic Committee meetings, a total of 68 agreements and protocols were signed between the two countries before.
Turkey has been working with Qatar to reopen the airport in the Afghan capital for international travel. However, repairs are needed before commercial flights can resume.
After the Taliban seized control of the country, Turkey offered technical and security assistance to operationalize Kabul's airport. Keeping the airport open after foreign forces handed over control is vital to keeping Afghanistan connected with the world and maintaining an uninterrupted supply of aid for distribution.
Turkey said last month that it may jointly operate five airports in Afghanistan with Qatar after talks in Doha and Kabul. Moreover, Çavuşoğlu said that Abu Dhabi told Ankara that Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may operate Afghanistan’s Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport trilaterally.
Responding to Daily Sabah’s question during a press conference to evaluate the year 2021 in late December, Çavuşoğlu said: “Before the Taliban took over power, we were leading Kabul airport’s military wing within the scope of NATO. The civilian part was led by a UAE company.”
The Turkish government has taken a pragmatic approach to the recent events in Afghanistan. Underlining that new realities have emerged in Afghanistan, Ankara said it would move forward accordingly while keeping communication with all relevant leaders open.
NATO member Turkey maintained its embassy in Afghanistan after Western countries withdrew following the Taliban takeover and has urged those countries to step up engagement. At the same time, it said it will only work fully with the Taliban if they form a more inclusive administration.