Officials at Afghanistan’s Embassy in the United Arab Emirates called on the government to step in on the dispute between the Afghan state carrier Ariana Airlines and the UAE-based group Airlines Company, saying it is in the dark on the matter.

“We did not guarantee the deal and we have no correspondence on it. The previous leadership of the Afghanistan Embassy in the UAE should be asked about this subject,” Afghanistan Embassy advisor Mir Fazlullah Rishteen told TOLOnews on Thursday.

A primary court in Sharjah last month ordered Ariana to pay $10.5 million to the Airlines Company over the alleged failure to pay for the hire of aircraft over eight years ago.

The embassy called on the Afghan government to address the UAE court decision which the officials argue is controversial because the UAE company’s claim is more than seven years old and the court gave its verdict without the presence of Afghan representatives.

The embassy has rejected the court’s decision claiming that Ariana is not in debt to Airlines Company.

Ariana officials told TOLOnews Wednesday that the UAE company made a trumped up claim. They said Ariana’s only link to the company was through Ariana hiring planes in 2004 from the now defunct Afghan private company Pamir Airlines which had hired the planes from Airlines Company.

Ariana said it had paid its account to Pamir but the UAE company was seeking to recoup costs that Pamir failed to pay.

“We have not corresponded with the Arabian company, in fact the company did not directly deal with us. Surely they should not be able to take money [from us],” Ariana chief Nasir Ahmad Hakimi said, adding that he believes the court decision was illegal.

www.tolonews.com