Ashgabat and Kabul discuss the possibility of increasing cargo transportation along the Lapis Lazuli Corridor02.12.2023 | 21:06 |
Negotiations are taking place in Ashgabat between the railway administrations of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, in which the head of the Afghan Railways Department Bakht-ur-Rahman Sharafat arrived in the Turkmen capital on November 30.
The agenda of the working meeting includes discussion of the construction of railways in Afghanistan, management and maintenance of the Akina–Andkhoy railway built by Turkmen forces, intensification of cargo transportation along the Lapis Lazuli international transport corridor (Lapis Lazuli Corridor), etc.
The four-day meeting is taking place in a very productive manner, the parties managed to agree on a number of measures of technical cooperation, for the development of which in the practical plane it was decided to form a joint committee to improve coordination.
In particular, the issues of the continuation of the 30-kilometer Akina-Andkhoy railway line, previously laid by Turkmen track builders, and the construction of the Andkhoy-Shibirgan section with a length of 10 km were considered, and the project of the Turgundi-Sanabar-Herat railway line was also discussed. In addition, the Afghan side expressed interest in building a railway to Mazar-I-Sharif.
The parties agreed that in the second half of December, a Turkmen group of engineering and technical specialists will visit Afghanistan to familiarize themselves with the construction conditions and collect data for the feasibility study of these projects.
Special attention was paid to the possibilities of increasing freight turnover by railways in order to increase the volume of both bilateral trade and trade between Afghanistan and other Central Asian countries.
The leadership of the Afghan Railway Department expressed great interest in cooperation with Turkmenistan on the development of the Lapis Lazuli corridor (Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey) and on the creation of effective multimodal transportation schemes to increase transit potential and attract cargo flows from other countries, including India and Pakistan.
Important points of improving the tariff policy and pricing for transportation were discussed, the adjustment of which will contribute to strengthening the movement of export-import and transit goods through the territory of Afghanistan.
An agreement was also reached on a visit to the neighboring country in the second half of December by a Turkmen delegation with the participation of logistics companies to meet with Afghan shippers and consignees, exporting companies in order to study the market and analyze in-demand transport services. Another topic of the negotiations was the establishment of an interdepartmental exchange of current information on rail transport.