Here’s the situation report for Asia-Pacific so far this week.

UAE Head of State Met Afghan Taliban Senior Official

In a rare chance meeting, the acting defense minister of the Afghan Taliban sat down with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) president to discuss “strengthening relations” and “bilateral cooperation,” among many others, between the two countries.

According to reports, UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan met the son of the late Taliban supreme leader, Mullah Yaqoob, who is also the acting defense minister of the group, in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, December 4. This was the first meeting of the two senior officials months after the finalization of the airport services contract, which involved the UAE company GAAC Holding.

In September, the Emirati company won over the contract that would “provide flight services and manage plane landing and taking off at key airports in Afghanistan” over rival bidders Qatar and Turkey. The agreement also includes installing equipment and training Afghan personnel at the country’s three major airports, namely Kabul, Herat, and Kandahar.