Speaking to reporters on a flight returning from Qatar, Turkey's President Erdogan said companies picked by Doha and Ankara will simultaneously negotiate with each other and the Taliban on operating the Afghan airport.

Ankara and Doha enjoy strong relations, particularly since a 2017 blockade of the Gulf country by Saudi Arabia and others.
Ankara and Doha enjoy strong relations, particularly since a 2017 blockade of the Gulf country by Saudi Arabia and others. (Reuters)

Turkey and Qatar have determined the companies to help run Afghanistan's key Kabul airport controlled by the Taliban.

Speaking to journalists on a flight back from his two-day trip in Qatar on Tuesday, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said these companies will negotiate with each other and the Taliban on this matter. 

"If appropriate conditions, especially security, are provided, these companies will proceed with the process of operating the airport in Kabul," Erdogan said.

"We have observed once again that our attitudes towards regional and global issues are in the same direction," the president also added.

Erdogan's visit came as Turkey seeks to rebuild relations with former rivals in the energy-rich Gulf region, including the United Arab Emirates, whose crown prince last month visited Turkey for the first time since 2012.

READ MORE: Turkey, Qatar to 'act together' to reopen Afghanistan's Kabul airport

READ MORE: How Turkey emerged as a key player to run the Kabul airport

New deals strengthen cooperation 

Commenting on his visit to Qatar, Erdogan said Ankara and Doha have shown that they are true friends by acting in solidarity in difficult times and new deals will further strengthen the cooperation in different fields.

Erdogan's visit to Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani marked 15 new agreements in the fields of health and medical sciences, culture, youth and sports and standardisation.

Erdogan said the visit reaffirmed Turkey and Doha's mutual local and international political vision. 

"Turkey-Qatar relations also make significant contributions to the security and stability of the region. Turkey and Qatar have shown that they are true friends by acting in solidarity in difficult times," Erdogan said.

A deal between Turkey's Anadolu Agency and Qatar News Agency as well as an agreement between Ibn Haldun University in Turkey and Qatar University are among the new partnership steps between the countries. 

"Turkey-Qatar relations also make significant contributions to the security and stability of the region," Erdogan said.

"I'm also very pleased with the resolution of the conflict between Qatar and some other regional countries," he added.

READ MORE: Turkey, Qatar boost cooperation with 15 new bilateral accords

Cyprus on the table

Turkey last week accused Cyprus of violating its continental shelf by awarding an exploration license in the Mediterranean to Exxon Mobil and Qatar Petroleum, adding it will not allow unauthorised exploration in its jurisdiction.

Erdogan said the issue was also discussed during his visit, where expressed his sadness and hope that Qatar will come up with a solution.

"We stated that this unilateral step of the Greek-administred Cyprus ignores the rights of our country and the Turkish Cypriots," Erdogan said.

"Because a part of the license area in question violates Turkey's continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean and ignores the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, the co-owner of the Island."

On recent tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Erdogan said Ankara is ready to provide support to reduce tensions and to establish dialogue between both countries. 

Responding to a question by a reporter on normalising relations with Israel, President Erdogan said Israel first needs to be more sensitive about Jerusalem and Al Aqsa mosque before steps towards dialogue can be taken. 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies