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Afghanistan, Uzbekistan Transit Route To Open Soon

A number of agreements were signed earlier this month by the presidents of the two countries including transit accords.

Afghanistan and Uzbekistan will start transiting goods across the border in the near future, officials from the Ministry of Commerce and Industries said, adding that delegations from the two countries are working to make this happen.

Spokesman for the ministry, Musafir Qoqandi, told TOLOnews that Afghan goods will be sent by train from Uzbekistan to other parts of the world.

The two countries signed dozens of agreements and contracts during President Ashraf Ghani's trip to Tashkent this month.

A joint team was created following Ghani's visit to Uzbekistan to work on the implementation of the agreements which include trade and transit between the two nations.

According to the ministry, the improvement in the work of the team is assessed by the presidents of the two countries every 15 days.

"We continue our efforts to start our transit through as soon as possible. Uzbekistan is also very interested to start transit through Afghanistan," Qoqandi said.

Deputy head of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Khanjan Alokozay, meanwhile recommended the Afghan government take the issue under 'proper management'.

"Uzbekistan is trying to use Afghanistan route because it needs a closer route to South Asia. It exports iron and cotton worth billions of dollars every year," Alokozay said.

Earlier this month, Afghan and Uzbekistan officials signed more than 20 agreements which include economic, transit, security, electricity, agriculture, health and higher education cooperation between the two countries.

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

[Source: Tolo News, Kabul, 31Dec17]

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