Afghanistan set to ink deals with UAE in energy, mining sectors

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani, center, speaks during a press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014. (AP)
Updated 18 March 2019
0

Afghanistan set to ink deals with UAE in energy, mining sectors

  • The UAE has become a commercial hub for Afghan investors and traders who, according to estimates, have invested billions of dollars in the past decade

KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani left for the UAE on Sunday for talks with leaders of the Gulf state and to sign memorandums of understanding (MoUs) for bilateral engagements in sectors including mining, energy and agriculture.
Since assuming power more than four years ago, Ghani has been trying to forge closer ties with Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Coinciding with Ghani’s visit to UAE, the Afghan Ministry of Social and Labor Affairs said that Afghanistan will send some 2,000 vocational laborers to the UAE as part of a pilot project in coming weeks.
The UAE has become a commercial hub for Afghan investors and traders who, according to estimates, have invested billions of dollars in the past decade.
It has also hosted informal talks between Taliban delegates and Afghan politicians in the past, and recently one round of peace talks between representatives of the group and US diplomats was held there.
Ghani’s office said that the president will meet with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Mohamed Bin Zayed.
“Besides issuing a joint communique, President Ghani and His Highness Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will preside over the signing of MoUs in the fields of culture, education, sports, mining, energy and agriculture by the governments of Afghanistan and UAE,” it said in a statement.
Janaqa Naveed, chief of public relations of Afghanistan’s Chamber of Commerce, said that trade between Afghanistan and the UAE has jumped up in recent years.
“We have had long and friendly relations with the UAE and that has attracted Afghans to invest there due to the facilitation given by UAE to Afghans,” Naveed told Arab News.
“The volume of annual trade stands to tens of millions of dollars both in terms of export and imports and in addition to bilateral trade, UAE has helped Afghanistan with over $1.5 bn in aid projects such as building two hospitals and townships,” he said.


DR Congo court charges army officer in murder of UN experts

Updated 2 min 42 sec ago
0

DR Congo court charges army officer in murder of UN experts

KANANGA: A DR Congo military tribunal on Monday charged an army colonel with the murder of two UN experts who were killed two years ago while investigating violence in a restive central region.
Authorities had initially said the victims, Zaida Catalan, a Swedish woman, and American Michael Sharp, were killed in March 2017 by “terrorist” militiamen in central Kasai region.
Col. Jean de Dieu Mambweni, who was arrested in December, will face charges including criminal conspiracy and murder as a war crime, court clerk Captain Alain Bosombi told AFP.
“The date of his appearance has not yet been set but it will be soon,” the official said.
The army officer was in charge of relations with civilians in the central Kasai region at the time of the killings.
Prosecutors say he was in telephone contact on the day with one of the main murder suspects.
A UN report described the murder of the two experts as a “premeditated setup” in which state security may have been involved.
Their deaths sent shockwaves through political and diplomatic circles in Kinshasa — especially among aid workers grappling with the country’s entrenched violence and humanitarian crisis.