The Taliban announced that they are negotiating with the United Arab Emirates over airspace control in Afghanistan. The Taliban administration on Saturday announced they would sign the third and final major contract for running Afghanistan’s airports with the United Arab Emirates’ GAAC Holding, according to sources, as reported by The Khaama Press. The contract would run for 10 years, Ghulam Jelani Popal, deputy head of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, told reporters at a press conference in Kabul, UK-based media reported. He added that the group had already signed contracts with UAE state-linked GAAC over ground services and security.
The agreements would help the Taliban ease their isolation from the outside world, with no foreign country formally recognising their government and strict enforcement of sanctions hampering the economy.
Ibrahim Moarafi, the General Manager and Regional Director of GAAC, told reporters in Kabul that it would encourage major international airlines to return to Afghanistan. “We believe this is a significant development,” he said, as quoted by UK-based media “We also believe this is a significant development as it will bring economic benefits in job creation.”
The Taliban, whose government remains in international isolation without formal recognition, have courted regional powers, including Qatar and Turkey, to operate Kabul airport, landlocked Afghanistan’s main air link with the world, and others.
After months of back-and-forth talks, and at one point raising the possibility of a joint UAE-Turkey-Qatar to deal with the Taliban in recent months decided to hand operations in their entirety to the UAE, sources had told Reuters in July, reported The Khaama Press. Meanwhile, the Afghan Traders’ Council in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).