Afghanistan’s President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani paid an official visit to Uzbekistan on 4-6 December 2017, at the invitation of President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
In a joint statement:
11. The Presidents noted the priority importance of bilateral cooperation in the field of transport and transit corridors, which provide the shortest and most effective access to foreign markets.
In this regard, the Parties agreed to further intensify mutual efforts aimed at ensuring the construction of railways and highways, as well as facilitating the development of transit traffic and trade on the territory of Afghanistan. In particular, based on the efficient bilateral cooperation and the experience of mutual benefit, the Parties agreed to jointly implement the following projects aimed at further development of transport infrastructure in Afghanistan:
- Construction of the “Mazar-e-Sharif–Herat” railway line, planned within the framework of the “Trans-Afghan Transport Corridor”;
The Presidents welcomed the signing of cooperation agreements on the “Termez-Hairatan” bridge between the relevant organizations of the two countries.
Source: Joint statement, Office of the President, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, 5 December 2017
Remarking on the importance of transit facilitation between the two countries, President Ghani said that the agreement on implementation of Mazar e Sharif – Herat Railways will contribute to regional connectivity and allow smooth flow of exports. He said, “This is one of the major regional transit projects and both countries are earnestly working on the implementation and funding.”
Source: President Ghani: A New Chapter Of Afghan-Uzbek Relations Has Been Opened Out, Office of the President, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, 5 December 2017
We have to make every human effort to see Surkhandara connected to Puli-Khomri through the transmission line. And we have to devote the next month to see how we are going to move to implementation and financing the railway from Mazar-i-Sharif to Herat.
Let me assure the people of Uzbekistan and the government of Uzbekistan that the people and government of Afghanistan have every intention to transform Uzbekistan into one of our major trading and transit partners.
Source: President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s Remarks During Joint Press Conference With President Of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Office of the President, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, 5 December 2017
20 documents aimed at further strengthening of cooperation in political, trade-economic, investment, transport-communication, scientific, education and other spheres were also signed. They include documents on establishment of a joint commission on the issues of security, provision of legal assistance in civil, family and criminal cases, construction of Surkhan – Puli Khumri power line, the Mazari Sharif – Sheberghan – Maymana – Herat railway, the interaction in the sphere of freight and customs.
Source: Documents have been signed, Press Service of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, % December 2017