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UAE Wins Contract To Operate Afghan Airport Ground Services - Presidential Adviser

PARIS, France - The United Arab Emirates has won a contract to operate services at three airports in Afghanistan, UAE presidential adviser Anwar Gargash said on Wednesday on Twitter, confirming an announcement made earlier by the Taliban.

Turkey and Qatar were also competing for the contract and has sent technical teams to help airport operations and security after the Taliban took over in August last year, as foreign forces withdrew from Afghanistan.

The Taliban's acting deputy prime minister, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar told reporters in Kanul on Tuesday that his administration agreed to renew an airport ground handling agreement with the UAE.

'The well - deserved win to operate ground services in three Afghan airports, which came after a big competition with several states, is underpinned by the UAE's capability and competence in civil aviation management and safety', Gargash said.

It was not immediately clear whether the agreement went beyond existing arrangements of if it included airport security, a sensitive issue for the Taliban.

A source briefed on the negotiations in Afghanistan told Reuters that a sticking point in the negotiations with Qatar had been Doha's condition that Qatari security personnel by present at the airports.



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