According to sources, the Islamic Emirate administration announced that they would sign the third and final major contract for running Afghanistan’s airports with the United Arab Emirates’ GAAC Holding.
Afghan Voice Agency(AVA)_Monitoring, The contract would run for 10 years, Ghulam Jelani Popal, deputy head of Afghanistan’s ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, told reporters at a press conference in Kabul, as Reuters reported.
He added that the group had already signed contracts with UAE state-linked GAAC over ground services and security.
To what is known, the agreements would help the Islamic Emirate ease their isolation from the outside world, with no foreign country formally recognizing their government and strict enforcement of sanctions hampering the economy.
Ibrahim Moarafi, the General Manager and Regional Director of GAAC, told reporters in Kabul that it would encourage major international airlines to return to Afghanistan.
“We believe this is the significant development,” he said, as quoted by Reuters. “We also believe this is a significant development as it will bring economic benefits in terms of job creation.”
The Islamic Emirate, whose government remains an international pariah without formal recognition, have courted regional powers, including Qatar and Turkey, to operate Kabul airport, landlocked Afghanistan’s main air link with the world, and others.
But after months of back-and-forth talks, and at one point raising the possibility of a joint UAE-Turkey-Qatar deal the Islamic Emirate in recent months decided to hand operations in their entirety to the UAE, sources had told Reuters in July.
Meanwhile, Afghan Traders’ Council in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) welcomed the deals, saying the contract with the UAE’s GAAC company to provide air services is crucial for strengthening relations between Kabul and Abu Dhabi.
Haji Obaidullah Sadarkhail, the head of the council, says that this contract will also solve the problem of issuing UAE visas to Afghan citizens and businesspeople.
“With the signing of this contract, foreign flights to Afghanistan will begin, including international flights, and as a result, relations between Afghanistan and other United Arab Emirates will improve,” Sadarkhail said, as TOLOnews quoted.
According to figures provided by the council, three hundred Afghan businesspeople are currently operating in the United Arab Emirates, and this contract will facilitate their travel.
“This contract is almost $400 million in value. With the help of this contract, both our youth and technical and professional employees will have jobs. Trade and investment between Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates will rise as a result of this agreement,” said Jamal Nasir Ebadi, a trader.
In accordance with this contract, in addition to improving the capacity of the Kabul airport staff, the GAAC company will buy the tools required for aircraft guidance.