Esmatullah Ergashev, special representative of Uzbekistan's president, in a meeting with local officials in the northern Afghan province of Balkh on Sunday said his country will reconstruct Maulana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi international airport in Mazar-e-Sharif.
Ergashev met with Balkh local officials as well as officials from Afghanistan’s ministry of transport and aviation who were in the province to meet with the Uzbekistan officials.
Ergashev said his country had sent a 30-member technical team to help the Afghans reconstruct the airport and repairing the technical damages and equipment.
“We were urged to help in resumption of the airport and repair the damaged equipment. Hence, we have brought 30 technical staff from Uzbekistan, and they are repairing the equipment and reconstructing the airport and soon the airport will become operational,” he said.
He said Uzbekistan will try to help Afghanistan in different areas, especially in infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Balkh local officials urged Uzbekistan to cooperate with Afghanistan in economic areas and in the expansion of trade relations between the two countries.
“The delegation from the transport ministry which has come to Balkh held talks with Uzbekistan officials on airport reconstruction and the railway. Talks were also held on Afghanistan’s electricity bill debt to Uzbekistan, and we said when the banking system problems are resolved we will pay the bill and Uzbekistan should not cut the imported electricity,” said Qudratullah Hamza, Balkh's governor.
Officials from the Ministry of Transport and Aviation said Uzbekistan will help Afghanistan repair equipment and train technical staff at Maulana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi airport.
“Uzbekistan's team will repair and reactivate all the equipment and every section of the airport. It will also train in Uzbekistan around 83 technical employees of the ministry who are deployed at Maulana airport,” Hasibullah Soroush, deputy minister said.