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Somalia, UAE sign bilateral aviation agreement
Monday, June 8, 2015
MOGADISHU (HOL) — Somalia’s government and the United Arab Emirates signed a preliminary aviation agreement on Sunday, a move that many expect would ease restrictions on air travels between the two countries.
The memorandum of understanding by the UAE foreign minister Sheikh Abdullahi Bin Zayid who arrived in the Somali capital and his Somalia counterpart Abdasalan Hadliye is parts of negotiations between the two countries as the UAE ponders to undertake more development projects including hospitals and police stations across the horn of Africa nation.
“This is a very encouraging step that would help Somalia on the recovery of the infrastructure, peace restoration, political stability and economic development.” said Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Somalia’s president after the signature of the agreement.
Under the new agreement, UAE-owned airlines would start flying to Somalia after more than two decades of war in Somalia.
United Arab Emirates often imposes restriction of Somali passport holders travelling to their country as its missing on the list of visa-free countries that allow travels for Somali citizens.
Mr. Zayid on his part vowed his country would boost support for Somalia, urging other Gulf countries to follow suit.
The development comes one year after Somalia regained its airspace control after a long period of management by the Civil Aviation Caretaker Authority for Somalia (CACAS). SCAMA in conjunction with the International Civil Aviation Organizations also finalized a process in 2014 to transfer control of Somalia's airspace to the new Air Space Management Centre in the capital.
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