UAE set to operate Kabul airport under deal with Taliban
The United Arab Emirates and Taliban regime of Afghanistan are all set to strike a deal under which the Gulf country will be running Kabul airport, as well as many other airports across the Afghan country. Sources familiar with ongoing negotiations have said that the deal could be through and announced within weeks.
Without any formal recognition in the international scene, Taliban have been courting regional governments, including Turkey and Qatar, to take Kabul airport under their wing for operations. Kabul airport, the landlocked airport, is the main air link with the world, and with outsourced operations things might work for Taliban and the country.
Deal with UAE after months of negotiations
Taliban has been doing negotiations with countries for the deal, in prime focus being UAE, Qatar and Turkey. At one point, a joint deal between UAE, Turkey and Qatar with Taliban was on verge of finalizing. But the Taliban have now moved ahead with giving the entire operations of airports to UAE. It is to be noted that previously also UAE was handling the operations of Afghan airports.
What does the said agreement mean?
The much sought agreement would help the “un-recognized regime of Afghanistan” to ease the isolation from rest of the world. The Islamist militant regime that took over the control of Afghanistan last year in September after US troops withdrew from the country suddenly. This left Afghanistan struggling with poverty, economic crisis further crippled by continuing drought, fearing famine situation.
This would also be a win for Abu Dhabi after it scores an advantage in tussle with Qatar for regional influence.
Increased employment for Afghans
Under the deal with UAE, jobs will be given to people of Afghanistan, including security jobs. This is crucial for Taliban regime as it would have a chance to show the world its capability to bring in employment for the people and hence a good governance for people.
In May, Taliban had awarded the ground services contract to UAE state-linked GAAC, shortly after Taliban officials had visited Abu Dhabi. It was also responsible for operating security and ground handling services at all Afghan airports before the takeover by Taliban takeover.