Kabul and Ashgabat Strengthen Multifaceted Relations

KABUL (BNA): Mawlavi Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, is currently on an official visit to Turkmenistan. During his visit, he met with the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, discussing the enhancement of bilateral relations.
In a statement from the Ministry, it was revealed that the session focused on several key areas of cooperation between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. These include increasing Afghanistan’s diplomatic presence in Ashgabat, initiating practical work on the TAPI project within Afghanistan’s territory, boosting Turkmenistan’s electricity exports to Herat, reviving the Lapis Lazuli Corridor, expanding the railway, and encouraging Turkmenistan’s investments in Afghanistan.
Mr. Muttaqi highlighted that the frequent visits of officials between the two countries underscore the close and friendly relations between Kabul and Ashgabat. He expressed gratitude for Turkmenistan’s role in training Afghan railway personnel and called for easier visa issuance for Afghan traders and transport workers to bolster bilateral trade and fund transfers. He also expressed hope for an increase in scholarships for Afghan students.
The Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Emirate informed about Afghanistan’s readiness to commence practical work on the TAPI project and expressed optimism about its inauguration in Afghanistan in the near future. He also shared updates on the progress in the Noor-ul-Jihad Substation in Herat province and an increase in electricity in Herat. He emphasized that the economy is the cornerstone of Afghanistan’s relations with the region and that the Islamic Emirate’s strategy focuses on regional connectivity, with the reconstruction of highways and railways being a priority in Afghanistan.
In the session, Raşit Meredow, Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, stated that increasing trade with Afghanistan is a strategic priority for his country. He mentioned that both teams will work on facilitating the movement of traders and personnel in the transportation sector from Afghanistan to Turkmenistan. He also mentioned providing scholarships for Afghan students in sectors such as electricity, railways, and transportation.
Meredow stated that Turkmenistan has made significant contributions to the TAPI project and that joint teams from both countries will work on the practical initiation of this project in Afghanistan in the near future. He added that this project holds strategic importance for Turkmenistan. He also mentioned that their teams are working to enhance the capacity of the Substation Noor-al-Jihad in Herat to increase electricity supply to the surrounding areas of the city.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan also stated that the extension of the railway alongside Afghanistan holds strategic importance for Turkmenistan, and the project to enhance the capacity of the rail station in Torghundi has been finalized. Technical teams from both sides will continue working to initiate the project soon.
In this one-day negotiation, discussions were also held about the expansion of the Lapis Lazuli Corridor, and an agreement was reached for a meeting of representatives from the five countries along the Lapis Lazuli Corridor to be held in Ashgabat in the near future.
Both parties agreed to continue their cooperation in relevant sectors at a high level to take significant steps in line with the interests of both countries.

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