UAE holds talks with Taliban to run Kabul airport, foreign diplomats say

Reuters |
Published: 11.24.21, 10:06
The United Arab Emirates has held talks with the Taliban to run Kabul airport, going up against Gulf rival Qatar in a diplomatic tussle for influence with Afghanistan's new rulers, according to four sources with knowledge of the matter.
UAE officials have held a series of discussions with the group in recent weeks to discuss operating the airport that serves as landlocked Afghanistan's main air link to the world, the foreign diplomats based in the Gulf region told Reuters.
The talks demonstrate how countries are seeking to assert their influence in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan even as the hardline Islamist group largely remains an international pariah and its government not formally recognized by any country.
The Emiratis are keen to counter diplomatic clout enjoyed there by Qatar, according to the sources who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.