Planned railway line to connect Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Iran

KABUL (TCA) — The Afghan railway administration department said that the establishment of a railway line between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan will be one of the most important topics of discussion during Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s visit to Uzbekistan, TOLOnews reported.

The department’s deputy head Abdul Bari Seddiqi said Uzbekistan is interested in helping Afghanistan to build the railway line in order to have a direct route to Iran.

He said the most direct route would be through Afghanistan.

The plan is to run the line from Mazar-e-Sharif in Balkh province, through four provinces, to Herat.

“The line would extend from Neyababad in Mazar-e-Sharif to Herat on one side and to Kunduz on the other; Uzbekistan can be connected to the Afghan railway lines via this link,” Seddiqi added.

The railway administration said that by establishing a north-west network, trade between Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and China would increase.

The Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) meanwhile confirmed that trade and transit agreements between high-ranking officials from Afghanistan and Uzbekistan would be signed in the near future.

“The president is expected to travel to Uzbekistan soon, and sixteen memorandums of understanding, including a memorandum (of understanding) to start building a railway network will be signed. Transit problems will be resolved, and trade relations will be developed. This is all good news for us and it will give us hope that we should invest more in Afghanistan,” Sayam Pasarlay, spokesman for the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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