Uzbekistan And Afghanistan Sign Railway Deal

Via Times of Central Asia, a report on a new agreement between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan:

During Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani’s official visit to Tashkent on December 5, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan signed an agreement to extend a railroad connecting the two countries in a move which may eventually give landlocked Uzbekistan a direct link to sea ports, RFE/RL reported.

In 2011, Uzbek state railway company, Ozbekiston Temir Yollari, built a short link between Hairatan, a town on the Uzbek-Afghan border, and Mazar-e Sharif, a major city in northern Afghanistan.

Tashkent has since expressed interest in extending that line to Herat, another Afghan city in the northwest, and a gateway to Iran. Another link, already under construction, will connect Herat to Iran, which may eventually enable Uzbekistan to send cargoes to and from Iran’s Gulf ports.

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s office said in a statement that he and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani signed an agreement on the construction of the Mazar-e Sharif-Herat railroad.

The statement from Mirziyoyev’s office provided no details on the cost or source of funding for the rail project. The original, short link was almost fully financed by the Asian Development Bank, which has also financed studies for the expansion project.

Mirziyoyev and Ghani also signed 20 other deals, including an agreement on the construction of a new electric power line and deals for supplies of Uzbek agricultural products, medicines, and other goods to Afghanistan.

The Afghan National Security Adviser and his Uzbek counterpart also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on maintaining the security of the Hairatan bridge, TOLOnews reported.

At a joint press conference after the signing of the agreement, Mirziyoyev said his country strongly supports peace and stability in Afghanistan.

“Tashkent strongly valued cooperation with Afghanistan in all spheres, including economic and security ties. Cooperation agreements signed between the two nations are worth millions of dollars,” he said.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 at 6:49 pm and is filed under Afghanistan, Uzbekistan.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. 

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