Afghanistan has always pursued a policy of neutrality and non alignment in its foreign relations. The diplomatic relation between Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates established in the year 1973. Since then, Afghanistan and the UAE have had a cordial relationship.
During the Afghan Jihad against the Soviet invading army and their communist puppet regime in the 80s, the Government and people of the UAE under the wise leadership of H.H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan provided humanitarian as well as financial help to the Afghan people for their struggle for freedom. During this period thousands of Afghans were given permission to enter the UAE and reside there. H.H. Sheikh Zayed provided land and opportunities for the many arriving Afghans.
After the success of the Afghan Jihad against the Soviet invaders and their puppet communist regime in April of 1992, the Afghan Embassy was established for the first time in Abu Dhabi in 1993. Mr. Noorul Hoda started his diplomatic tenure as Charge d'Affaire in the same year.
In June of 1997 the UAE government along with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan recognized the Taleban regime as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. Simultaneously, the Taleban regime took over the Embassy in Abu Dhabi and started its official tenure. In due course of time the relation between the UAE and the Taliban regime diminished due to the Taliban support for Al-Qayeda and terrorism. The Government of the UAE couldn't continue to maintain diplomatic relations with a regime that refused to respond to the clear desire of the international community. Ultimately, the UAE Government severed its diplomatic ties with the Taliban regime in the summer of 2001 just prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City.
Following the removal of the Taleban regime, bilateral relationship between the two countries was renewed and both countries designated their envoys respectively.
Mr. Rashiddeen Mohammadi was appointed as the charge d'Affaire in Abu Dhabi in early 2002.
The Afghan government recognising the importance of the relationship with the UAE, in October of 2004 nominated its first full fledge Ambassador to the UAE. H.E. Abdul Farid Zikria, as Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary presented his credentials on the 7th of February 2005 to H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates.
In the year 2002, H.E. Hamid Karzai, the head of the Afghan Transitional Government along with a high ranking delegation paid an official visit to the UAE seeking assistance for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the war ravaged Afghanistan as well as to continue the process of strengthening the ongoing relation with the Islamic Ummah, especially the Gulf countries. During this trip, the UAE Government once again renewed its pledge of $35 million originally pledged in the Tokyo Donor's Conference in early 2002.
In 2003, H.E. Dr A..Abdullah Minister of Foreign Affairs visited the UAE and met with H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Minister of Foreign affairs. The two sides once again emphasized the further strengthening of the existing brotherly relationship.
President Karzai in November of 2004 participated in the funeral ceremonies of H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE, as one of only two head of non Arab countries.
President Karzai again visited the UAE from May 22 to 23 of 2006 in response to an invitation from President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Thanks to the President's trip the affinity between the two countries are today stronger than ever before.
Afghan Foreign Ministers Dr. A. Abdullah and Dr. R. Spanta also visited the UAE in March and June of 2006 respectively further strengthening the existing brotherly relationship between the two nations even further.
The Afghan community residing in the UAE has bilaterally contributed to the economy of this country. The richest Afghan community outside Afghanistan is in the United Arab Emirates, which is home to about 150,000 Afghan citizens. Of this total figure over 500 affluent Afghan businessmen have invested and have a total asset of about $ 4 billion in the UAE. They also control about 60% of the total Afghan trade.
In 2004 UAE allocated $74 million for different projects for Afghanistan. The UAE also participated in the Donors Conferences in Berlin and London pledging support for the stability and reconstruction of Afghanistan.
Based on the office of Asia and Africa Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the UAE, some $90 million was spent on different projects in Afghanistan and further $30 million will be allocated for the rehabilitation of the Kabul city roads.
The UAE had been always explicit to support its efforts to bring stability and renovation to Afghanistan after nearly 2 decades of pandemonium.
|HUMAN BASED ASSISTANCE PROVIDED BY THE UAE RED CRESCENT SOCIETY FOR THE RELIEF OF AFGHAN PEOPLE DURING 2001—7-3-2005.|
The Red Crescent Society constructed a camp for Afghan refugees in Chaman region of Pakistan covering around 10,000 refugees. , They were provided by all essential commodities like food, health care and temporary hospital attached to the camp fully equipped.
They also facilitated necessary items to the refugees and internally displaced in collaboration with The UNHCR.
Making an air bridge for assisting the refugees and displaced people in 41 trips and covered Quetta in Pakistan, Mashhad in Iran, Kabul and Mazhar Sharif. This bridge resulted in being the vital link to provide food, shelter items, medical facilities, ambulances and vehicles along with delegates to monitor the Project.
Shipment of about 2000 tons of food item was dispatched by sea to Pakistan for refugees and to Afghanistan by land.
The estimated cost of this project was 43,464.230 AED equivalent to $ 11,908.821.
The late Shaikh Zayed's housing project containing 200 houses, a mosque, two schools and a clinic. Estimated cost is AED 15,800.00 equivalent to $4,328.767.
The Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charity has also allocated $2 million for the construction of a Maternity Hospital in the recent past. Other UAE projects are in the agenda to be implemented in the near future.
The UAE facilitated 9 mosques and 523 wells. They renovated The Afghan Red crescent Society's hospital and provided with better equipments.
The orphanage which operates under The Afghan R.C.S was also renovated and reconstructed.
Seasonal projects were also carried out like –zakat –al-fitre, distribution of clothes and consumption material like meat etc.
Total estimated cost was AED 8,059.930 equivalent to $ 2,208.200.
The UAE on humanitarian grounds assisted to sponsor for the welfare and wellbeing of a large number of orphans. So far, 523 orphans have been sponsored for different categories.
The estimated cost was AED 98,700 equivalent to $21.041.
The UAE considered assistance for the year 2005. Hence, marketing some projects was carried out in the UAE itself that were focused on the co-operation of the wealthy for the success of the future projects.
The UAE would abide by the agenda to continue relief assistance by the air bridge and simultaneously continue their assistance to needy families through their offices in Kabul.
Estimated cost would be AED 1.000.000 equivalent to $ 273.972.6.
|Reconstruction Assistance||The UAE government during the Tokyo conference pledged a package of $30 million for the reconstruction of Afghanistan.|
During the 9th gathering of Foreign ministers of the Islamic countries, the UAE announced the donation $3 million to the Afghanistan fund.
Relief commodities have been donated by the UAE such as – vehicles, office materials, communication, equipments, computers etc.
Estimated cost in $ 19,521.766.
The UAE government has offered humanitarian assistance of $ 21,379.244 for different fields and categories of assistance to the afghan nation.
$350,000.00 was donated by H.H. Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Interior of the UAE, for the construction of a mosque within the Kabul University compound.
* Information taken from Afghan Embassy in Abu Dhabi Website.