The Taliban government signed an agreement with a UAE-based company to handle ground service operations at three key airports in Afghanistan.

The deal, which was signed on May 24, 2022, was announced by Afghanistan’s Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on Twitter.

Under the 18-month deal, the UAE firm, GAA, will provide airport management services to three airports in Kabul, Herat, and Kandahar. 

In his tweet, Afghanistan’s Deputy Prime minister said he hopes that with this contract, international airlines will start their flights to Afghanistan in a “safe and reliable environment”, adding that it will hopefully “help us to increase trading and business with other countries.”

In September 2021 the Taliban were in talks with Qatar and Turkey over management of Kabul Airport after foreign forces withdrew.

Reuters reports that a source familiar with the negotiations said that one of Qatar’s requirements was to have Qatari security personnel be present at the airport. That had apparently been a sticking point for the Taliban. 

It is not yet determined whether the deal with the UAE airport handler includes airport security.  

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After the U.S. withdrawal, the Taliban are now in talks with Qatar and Turkey regarding management of Kabul Airport