The Taliban have announced a deal allowing an Emirati company to operate three airports in Afghanistan, AP reports.
Under the deal, Abu Dhabi-based GAAC Solutions will operate airports in Herat, Kabul and Kandahar, the Taliban said. They held a press conference in Kabul where they signed a deal with a man they named the managing director of GAAC.
However, the deal left more questions than answers, especially as Qatar and Turkey are in line to manage the airports, although the deal appears to have fallen through due to demands for airports to have their own security personnel.
The Taliban did not disclose the terms of the deal with the UAE, which has had strained relations with both Turkey and Qatar in recent years, although tensions have eased recently.
The Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
GAAC Solutions describes itself on the website as an Abu Dhabi-based joint venture partnered with G42. G42 officials declined to name the owner of the company, although many suspect it is linked to the Abu Dhabi ruling family.
In 2020, GAAC reportedly signed a $47 million service contract to manage airports in Afghanistan, including ground handling, information technology, and security.
During the ceremony, Baradar said that the Taliban want good relations with all countries and encouraged investors to come and invest in Afghanistan.