Turkey and Qatar reportedly have reached an agreement on the security of the Kabul international airport, should they be awarded the responsibility following continued talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Turkey and Qatar have positioned themselves strategically, leading up to and after the fall of Afghanistan in August 2021, to take a new level of authority in the tumultuous country, as well as strengthening their own ties together.
One anonymous source told Reuters, “It is expected for the Taliban to ensure security outside, and for whoever runs the airport to ensure it inside. The process is continuing constructively.” The two countries are reportedly meeting in Kabul this week to continue discussions.
However, both Turkey and Afghanistan are under the USCIRF recommendations for the special watch list, while Qatar is heavily criticized for its relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood. ICC previously reported on the announcement that Qatar will represent US interests in Afghanistan. Since August, many countries have moved their Afghan embassies to Qatar. ICC commented, “Given the deepening of Turkish-Qatari relations, as well as Turkey’s status as the world’s largest host of refugees and its relationship with the Taliban, the religious freedom implications of such geopolitical posturing are unclear. Matias Perttula, ICC’s Advocacy Director, said, ’We are troubled by the increasing reliance on Qatar as an intermediary for the United States in Afghanistan, given their close relationship with Turkey.’”
The underground minorities in Afghanistan, including Christians, live in fear as they are sought out by the Taliban. Afghanistan has beat out North Korea for the worst place to be a Christian in 2022, replacing it as number one for the first time in 20 years, earning a dishonorable title.