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UAE, Qatar have interaction in tussle about dealing with of Kabul airport in Taliban-dominated Afghanistan

The United Arab Emirates has held talks with the Taliban to operate Kabul airport, heading up from Gulf rival Qatar in a diplomatic tussle for impact with Afghanistan’s new rulers, in accordance to 4 resources with awareness of the issue.

UAE officers have held a collection of conversations with the team in modern months to go over working the airport that serves as landlocked Afghanistan’s primary air connection to the planet, the international diplomats dependent in the Gulf area advised Reuters.

The talks exhibit how nations are looking for to assert their impact in Taliban-dominated Afghanistan even as the hardline Islamist team mainly stays an intercontinental pariah and its authorities not formally recognised by any nation.

Read through: We can starve, but the little ones cry for food items: Afghans battle following a a hundred times of Taliban rule

The Emiratis are eager to counter diplomatic clout savored there by Qatar, in accordance to the resources who declined to be title because of to the sensitivity of the issue.

The Qataris have been aiding operate the Hamid Karzai Global Airport alongside with Turkey following taking part in a key position in evacuation endeavours adhering to the chaotic U.S. withdrawal in August, and have reported they are inclined to choose about the functions.

However the Taliban has not however formalised an arrangement with Qatar, the 4 diplomats reported.

File image of Taliban fighters outdoors Kabul airport | AP

A senior Emirati international ministry formal reported the UAE, which beforehand ran Kabul airport in the course of the U.S.-backed Afghan republic, “stays dedicated to continuing to guide in working” it to be certain humanitarian obtain and protected passage.

Abu Dhabi also aided modern evacuation endeavours.

The Taliban and Qatari authorities did not reply to requests for remark.

Two of the diplomats reported the Taliban has also sought economical support from the UAE, although they included it was not very clear if this was relevant to the airport conversations.

The Emirati international ministry formal, Salem Al Zaabi, director of intercontinental protection cooperation, did not reply to a problem on irrespective of whether the UAE was thinking about furnishing economical enable to the Taliban.


A person vital problem which is nonetheless to be solved in between the Taliban and likely airport operators is who would offer protection at the web site, the 4 diplomats reported. The Taliban say they do not want international forces in the nation adhering to their return to ability following two many years of war.

Nonetheless, Qatari specific forces are presently furnishing protection in just the airport’s perimeter, the diplomats included, even though Taliban specific forces have been patrolling places outdoors.

Read through: Kabul airport: The final hope of independence following Taliban takeover in Afghanistan

So much nations have been hesitant to formally recognise the Taliban’s authorities, accusing the team of backtracking on pledges to uphold the legal rights of females and minorities.

However Qatari officers have urged increased intercontinental engagement with the Taliban to stop impoverished Afghanistan from slipping into a humanitarian disaster. Gulf states have also voiced problem that the U.S. withdrawal would permit al Qaeda to get back a foothold in Afghanistan.

Though there is very little industrial advantage for any operator, the airport would offer a a great deal-necessary supply of intelligence on actions in and out of the nation, in accordance to the 4 diplomats, who reported that due to the fact the withdrawal numerous nations have lacked true-time info.


Qatar and the UAE have experienced strained relations for many years as they competed for regional impact.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia and their allies boycotted Qatar for about a few many years, chopping off political, trade and transportation ties, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism – a demand that it denies. The dispute was solved in January this yr.

Qatar has very long been the gateway to the Taliban, with Doha internet hosting the group’s political business due to the fact 2013 and negotiations with the U.S. in early 2020 that led to the withdrawal.

File image of a US armed service plane parked on tarmac of Kabul airport | AP

Very last 7 days, Qatari officers strengthened their posture by signing an accord to characterize American diplomatic passions in Afghanistan.

The UAE has taken care of ties with the Taliban far too, in accordance to two of the diplomats. They reported the nation experienced been residence to some users of the team in modern many years, such as Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, who they included lived in the Sharjah emirate with his family members from at the very least 2013. Stanikzai is now deputy international minister in the Taliban administration.

Al Zaabi did not reply to inquiries on the UAE’s partnership with Stanikzai. The Taliban did not straight away reply to queries on Stanikzai dwelling in the UAE.

The Taliban reported this thirty day period that the UAE experienced reopened its embassy in Kabul. The UAE has not commented.



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