The three main airports in Afghanistan—Kabul, Herat, and Kandahar—will be managed by an Abu Dhabi-based company under a new deal.
In Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday, September 8, 2022, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Deputy Prime Minister appointed by the Taliban, is present for a document signing ceremony with the company GAAC Solutions, situated in Abu Dhabi.
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The Taliban and the Abu Dhabi-based company GAAC Solutions have inked a deal for the Emirati business to offer aviation services and control aircraft landing and taking off at significant Afghan airports.
According to the Taliban, the agreement for flight guiding services would also include the outfitting of the three main airports in the nation, including the one in the capital city of Kabul, and the training of Afghan workers.
The two additional airports included in the agreement are located in the city of Herat, in the west of the nation, and Kandahar, in the south of the country, which served as a Taliban stronghold during the insurgency’s 20-year conflict with U.S. and NATO forces.
Since taking over the nation in August 2021 during the final weeks of the American and NATO force pullout from Afghanistan, the Taliban have come in for scathing worldwide condemnation. Since the Taliban seized power, Qatar’s government has agreed to stand in for the United States in the Taliban-run nation after the U.S. Embassy there was shut down. Kabul’s embassy
At the ceremony to sign the agreement on Thursday in Kabul, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the deputy prime minister nominated by the Taliban, declared that “the administration places a premium on the strengthening of the economy.”
“This deal will positively impact trade and the nation’s economic prosperity,” he continued.
The Taliban administration has not received official recognition from the international world, and Afghanistan’s assets overseas have been blocked because of the Taliban’s brutal rule during their previous 20-year reign.
According to Hamidullah Akhundzada, the Taliban’s acting minister of transportation and civil aviation, the major objective of the contract is to improve air services for flights and offer services at airports.
The same business inked its initial contract in March to provide ground operations at the same airports. Baradar described the pact at the time as a renewal of an airport ground-handling agreement with the UAE, a federation of seven sheikhdoms that is home to the international airlines Emirates and Etihad Airways.
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With Afghanistan’s then-U.S.-backed government, GAAC Solutions allegedly inked a $47 million service agreement in 2020 to manage the nation’s airports, including ground operations, information technology, and security.
Previously, GAAC Solutions identified itself as an Abu Dhabi-based joint venture with the company G42 as one of its partners. G42 is thought to have the support of the Emirati capital’s ruling family. However, G42 has declared that it is no longer a part of GAAC Solutions. On Thursday, it was unable to find GAAC Solutions’ phone number or any contact details.