As African Express approves Egal Airport upgrade and lands a Boeing 737 aircraft in the airlines maiden flight to Hargeisa
By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – “During my entire fortnight visit in the UAE citizens of Somaliland living and working in that country provided all necessary facilitations on a daily basis”
This revelation was made by the vice president Abdirahman Abdilahi Sayli at the Egal International Airport VIP Lounge where he held a press conference upon return from an official cum medical visit to the UAE city of Dubai.
Informing that he was now medically fit following treatment in the UAE VP Sayli who praised somalilanders in the UAE for not only ensuring ease of his personal and official affairs but for their discerned nationalism through facilitation of engagements with officials of diverse government’s and organizations based in the Emirates.
The VP who was flanked by high ranking government officials and members of parliament who were on hand to welcome him back also dispelled rumours of friction within the administration purportedly to have been his reason for his fortnight’s absence from the country.
“Thanks to Allah am back home safely home after a two weeks absence in Dubai where I went to seek medical attention and pursue other matters of state and not due to differences with colleagues in the administration as alleged by some media houses”
Apart from seeking medical attention the Somaliland Vice president also undertook valuable state functions especially as pertains to enhancing bi-lateral relations within Africa and more specifically with the West African Countries of Niger and Liberia.
During VP Sayli meetings with senior officials of the two countries parameters for establishing full diplomatic relations were established.
“I hereby extend and official invitation to you, the vice president of the republic of Somaliland to visit our capital Niamey where arrangements for exchanging diplomats shall be finalize” said Hon Chaibou at the meeting he hosted VP Sayli
This outcome followed a meeting held in Dubai between the Somaliland vice president Abdirahman Abdilahi Sayli and a delegation from Niger led by speaker of parliament Hon Boucary Sani Chaibou and the country’s Ambassador in the United Arab Emirates also in attendance was the CEO of Africa Development Fun Mr. Hussein Al-Ishaqi.
Apart from establishing full ambassadorial level relations the Niger government also promised to provide successful students from Somaliland with scholarships for higher education to be pursued in various universities in Niger.
“I promise that my country Liberia shall do all its best to see to it that your country Somaliland is accorded its rightful place among the League of Nations” Amb Pancharia told VP Sayli during a subsequent meeting in Dubai.
The Liberian Envoy to the UAE Amb Pancharia who is of Indian descendent and among top business leaders in the in the Gulf country told VP Sayli that Liberia acknowledges the efforts made by Somaliland and in addition to its fulfillment of relevant conditions of a country is worthy of recognition as a sovereign nation thus willingness to extend full diplomatic relations.
Ambassador Arun Pancharia carries a lot of influence within Africa being an advisor to eight African presidents in addition to his broad investments in over 20 other countries within the continent.
Elaborating on these diplomatic milestones achieved in West Africa in the course of his UAE sojourn and Stressing on his 100% perfect official and personal relationship with his boss President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo, whose leadership he praised VP Sayli who was flanked by Ministers Hirsi-Presidency, Samale-Finance, Waran’ade-Interior and Hashi-Aviation as well as numerous MPs said:
“While I shall pursue these diplomatic milestones in my capacity as the vice president of Somaliland it is upon mandated ministries to embark on the technicalities involved”
The VPs returned aboard a Boeing 737 craft operated by African Express also marked the maiden flight to Hargeisa by the Kenyan airliner that has in the past couple of years operated through Berbera Airport.
Speaking at the VP welcoming function Aviation minister Mahmud Abdi Hashi reiterated the aptness of upgrade works undertaken at the Egal Airport which can now accommodate big airplanes of any class as verified by the Pilot of the giant African Express plane then parked at one of the airport’s hangars.
According to the pilot who delivered his cargo of passengers in their hundreds including VP Sayli after landing safely at Egal International Airport, “The runway is aptly constructed and thus capable of servicing any type of aircraft big or small”
Informing that African Express is not making a demonstration landing, the airlines national Agent Ali Hasan Gaas said that the successful maiden flight is the initiation of direct flights to Hargeisa for the first time in over five years of operations in Somaliland through Berbera airport
“Our assessment proven by this flight indicate that the Upgrade of Egal international airport meets with not only our safety standards but global ones as well” Said Mr Gaas