Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani discussed ways to keep Kabul airport open and deliver further aid to Afghanistan.

Doha and Ankara are set to sign dozens of agreements during Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Qatar.
Doha and Ankara are set to sign dozens of agreements during Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Qatar. (AA)

Turkey and Qatar have raised the possibility of jointly operating Afghanistan's Taliban-controlled Kabul airport.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint press briefing on Monday with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani that they would "act together" in Kabul.

"Qatar and Turkey are continuously working with the interim government in Afghanistan to reach an agreement to open the airport (so it can function) normally," Thani added. 

The briefing took place as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Doha for two days of talks.

Erdogan's visit comes 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: How Turkey emerged as a key player to run the Kabul airport

'Setting an example'

Cavusoglu also said Turkey and Qatar should set an example to the international community in delivering humanitarian aid to Afghan people.

“The international community needs to deliver this humanitarian aid to the Afghan people, regardless of political motives,” he said.

Underlining that he is working in coordination with institutions of both countries to deliver additional humanitarian aid, Cavusoglu said Turkey has allocated funds that were transferred for providing humanitarian aid.

“Turkish Maarif Foundation continues its educational activities. It keeps many of its schools there open and 10 of these are schools for girls,” he added.

The Turkish Red Crescent and the Qatari Red Crescent are actively delivering aid to the Afghan people in the field, he said.

READ MORE: Turkish, Qatari foreign ministers acclaim strong bilateral relations 

Solidarity among Gulf countries

Simmering tensions between Ankara and its Gulf rivals escalated after a Saudi Arabia-led blockade on Qatar by Arab countries in 2017.

Ankara backed Qatar in the dispute, and the two countries have grown closer ever since.

Erdogan said he wanted to use the trip to foster closer relations with all Gulf states.

"We are in favour of strengthening our relations with all the Gulf countries," Erdogan told reporters at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport before leaving for Doha.

"The blockade and sanctions imposed on Qatar have been lifted as of the start of this year. Right now, solidarity is being restored among Gulf countries," Erdogan said.

READ MORE: The feasibility of the Turkey-UAE rapprochement

Source: TRTWorld and agencies