French model for Afghan rail authority

The French model for development of rail infrastructure in Afghanistan

As part of the French Presidency of the G8, Thierry Mariani, Minister of Transport, former Special Representative of France to Afghanistan and Pakistan, co-chaired with Wahidullah Shahrani, Minister of Mines of Afghanistan and coordinator of Afghan infrastructure, an intergovernmental seminar on regional cooperation in rail around Afghanistan.

Today [4 July 2011] 21 countries represented by their ministers or deputy ministers, 6 international organisations and 14 railway companies participated in the seminar organized by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Conseil Economique Social et Environnemental.

Wahidullah Shahrani, Minister of Mines of Afghanistan, with the Afghan Minister of Aviation & Transport, and the Afghan Minister of Public Works, announced the creation of the autonomous authority of the Afghan railways, building on the example of SNCF, the French operator.

This authority will act as leader and planner to identify priorities for development of railway infrastructure within the country and also establish railway cooperation with other countries in the area.

“We are honored that Afghanistan has chosen Paris and the Conseil Economique Social et Environnemental to announce the establishment of the railway authority. I will ensure that French experience and know-how are in the service of our Afghan friends and other countries in the region, in order to best help accomplish this great work of opening up of Afghanistan, a prerequisite for development and therefore its stability, “said Thierry Mariani.

Source: Based on Google translation of Le modèle français au service du développement des infrastructures ferroviaires afghanes. Ministère de l’Écologie, du Développement durable, des Transports et du Logement, Paris, France, 2011-07-04

So does this mean the Afghans are now planning their first railway strike…?

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