Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani officially inaugurated a railway linking the two countries on Monday, according to reports available here.
[quote font_size=”18″][/quote]Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani officially inaugurated a railway linking the two countries on Monday, according to reports available here.
The two presidents cut a ribbon for the operation of the new railway line linking Turkmenistan’s Imamnazar and Aqina in Afghanistan at a ceremony held at the Imamnazar station on the Turkmen side of the border.
Ghani called the inauguration as “a historic” event and thanked Turkmenistan for its support, saying with this new railway line gas and fuel will be transported to Afghanistan.
Afghanistan does not have problems with any of its neighbors and it supports development, not extremism, Ghani said.
[quote font_size=”18″]”Turkmenistan is a good neighbor for Afghans and our citizens consider the development of this country as its own development. Today the railway joins Afghanistan with Turkmenistan, tomorrow with Iran and in the future with India and other countries,”[/quote] he said.
Berdymukhamedov said, “The new line has international values and Afghanistan has an important role in connecting Central Asia to South Asia.”
“Turkmenistan will continue enhancing the joint social and economic projects with Afghanistan,” he said, adding that his country’s plan to increase electricity exports to Afghanistan will go on.
The newly-opened railway section is part of a 400-km railway project linking Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The governments of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan signed a framework agreement on the construction of the Atamyrat-Imamnazar-Akina-Andkhoy railway in May 2011.
In March 2013, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan signed a memorandum to extend the railway to Nizhny Panj in Tajikistan with a total length of 400 km.
Turkmenistan’s further ambition reportedly is to extend the railway road further east to Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and onward to China.