As Afghanistan eyes international flights, Taliban and UAE firm inks airport deal

Kabul, Afghanistan Updated: May 25, 2022, 01:21 AM(IST)

Razack Aslam Mohammed Abdur Razack, United Arab Emirates (UAE) chief financial officer of GAAC firm, and Ghulam Jilani Wafa, Deputy Ministry of Transport and Taliban's Deputy Head of Civil Aviation of Afghanistan, exchange documents during the signing ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 24, 2022. Photograph:( Reuters )

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UAE firm GAAC signed a new 18-month contract covering three airports: Kabul, Kandahar and Herat 

As Afghanistan looks forward to resuming international transit, a contract has been signed between the Taliban authorities and a United Arab Emirates (UAE) company, to provide ground handling services at three airports in the country, officials said. 

As reported by TOLO News, the country's first deputy PM Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar said in an address that security is good in the country. He added that the Islamic Emirate is ready to cooperate with investing countries. 

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Baradar spoke at the signing of a contract with UAE company GAAC to run ground operations at three Afghan airports. He also told reporters in Kabul that his administration was renewing an airport ground handling agreement with the UAE. 

"Afghanistan has been affected by wars and extreme poverty, and now we are rebuilding it. We seek good relations with all countries and urge them to invest in Afghanistan to help its strife-torn people," Baradar said. 

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During the troops' withdrawal by the US from Afghanistan last year in August, the airport in the capital Kabul was trashed. At that time, tens of thousands of people also evacuated. Some domestic and international flights are still operating out of the facility. 

UAE firm GAAC signed a new 18-month contract covering three airports: Kabul, Kandahar and Herat. GAAC has provided these services at Kabul airport since November 2020. 

Ibrahim Morafi, regional director of GAAC, told AFP that we "are not a new face here". He added, "But GAAC signing the new contract will give confidence to international airlines to resume flights to Afghanistan." 

Although, he didn't reveal when such flights were expected to resume. 

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