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Chinese company signs oil extraction deal with Taliban

While Taliban fighters have made gains across Helmand, Cleveland says most gains have been the temporary. (AP Photo/Mirwais Khan) Mirwais Khan

Chinese company signs oil extraction deal with Taliban

Conrad Hoyt

January 06, 03:47 AM January 06, 03:48 AM

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The ruling Taliban in Afghanistan has signed a deal with a Chinese company to drill for oil in the central Asian country.

The agreement with China’s Xinjiang Central Asia Petroleum and Gas Co. is the first major international energy extraction deal the Taliban has signed since taking control of Afghanistan in 2021, according to CNN. The drilling will take place in northern Afghanistan’s Amu Darya basin.

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“The Amu Darya oil contract is an important project between China and Afghanistan,” China’s ambassador to Afghanistan Wang Yu told a news conference in the capital Kabul.

Taliban’s Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar says the deal is in Afghanistan’s best interests.

“In terms of natural resources, Afghanistan is a wealthy nation. In addition to other minerals, oil is the wealth of the Afghan people on which the economy of the country can rely,” Baradar said.

The deal will last 25 years and emphasizes China’s investment in the region. A Chinese state-owned company is also in talks over the operation of a copper mine in the east of the country, per BBC News.

Over 60% of Afghanistan’s population (24 million people) was estimated to be in dire need of humanitarian assistance such as medical supplies and food, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warned in early 2022.

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