Tashkent, Kabul to Seek International Support for Trans-Afghan Transport Corridor

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and his Afghan counterpart, Ashraf Ghani, will seek international support for the construction of the Trans-Afghan railway corridor, the Uzbek leader’s press service said on Wednesday, following talks between the two politicians.

“The parties agreed on the need for a joint appeal to the leading nations and international financial institutions to support the practical implementation of a project for the construction of trans-Afghan railway corridor,” the press service said in a statement.

It noted that the presidents also discussed another joint project — the construction of the Surkhan – Pol-e-Khomri power line.

Mirziyoyev and Ghani welcomed the results of the International Conference on Afghanistan, which took place in Geneva last week, stressing the importance of building regional connectivity and promoting vital projects designed to integrate Afghanistan into international trade.

In mid-November, Mirziyoyev approved measures for the implementation of all aspects of the Mazari-Sharif-Kabul railway construction project. The heads of Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan are expected to send a joint request this month to attract funds from the US International Development Finance Corporation and other international financial institutions to finance the project. The construction is set to begin in September of next year.

In December 2018, the Uzbekistan Railway said that the Uzbek, Russian, Kazakh, Afghan and Pakistani railway companies would create a financial consortium for the construction of a new Mazari Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar railroad. The transport corridor is expected to link the European Union, Russia, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and the Southeast Asian countries.