Karzai to Leave for Turkmenistan for Inauguration of Railway Project



TOLOnews.com By Haseeb Maudoodi 02 June 2013

Afghan President Hamid Karzai will soon fly to Ashgabat in Turkmenistan to attend the inauguration ceremony of the Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan railway project, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said on Sunday.

The railway project will connect Turkmenistan and Tajikistan via Afghanistan. This project is considered as a big leap towards strengthening the economic relations between the three countries.

The MoFA said that extension of economic cooperation and strengthening of commercial relations with the neighboring countries is an integral part of the Government's foreign policy to put an end to numerous security challenges and the hovering uncertainty within the region.

The 400 kilometre railway line will start from the Atamurat city of Turkmenistan, pass through the Faryab and Kunduz provinces of Afghanistan and will finally end in Tajikistan.

The Afghan Foreign Ministry added that Afghanistan's numerous transit problems will be solved once the railway line becomes operational.

"We hope to start this project soon and finish it before the deadline so that as a landlocked country, we can find a third transit way abroad via our northern countries," the MoFA Spokesman, Janan Mosazai said.

Afghanistan, as on date carries out numerous commercial works via Pakistan by roadways. But, it is said that Pakistan has always used this as a political tool to put pressure on Afghanistan.

The hopes now increase over putting an end to Pakistan's ever increasing pressure on Afghanistan.

"The establishment of the Northern transit is not against any country, but it is only for Afghanistan's good so that it can have a third way of transit. This project is also aimed at strengthening its commercial relations with the other Asian countries. It is for the benefit of all other countries of the region," Mosazai said.

The project is said to benefit Tajikistan greatly as it faces serious transit problems with Uzbekistan. Moreover, the transported goods will enjoy certain immunities via this way.