Statement by Afghanistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs at the 19th Session of the ECO Council of Ministers- in Istanbul on 22 December 2010:
As H.E. President Karzai stated in his important speech in the Kabul Conference of July 20th this year, Afghanistan in the future will be the nexus of regional economic cooperation and we are committed to share the benefits of Afghanistan’s centrality with our neighbors and countries in the region particularly the ECO member states to increase transit of goods and energy as well as movement of people within our region.
Our national road and railway programs have been precisely designed to serve this important vision of Afghanistan for regional cooperation.
It was in September this year that the ECO Truck Caravan passed along some of the newly built regional, national and provincial roads across the northern Afghanistan which is clearly indicative of the progress made in the implementation of our National Road Program.
Moreover, considerable progress has been made on the extension of regional railways to Afghanistan and through Afghanistan to other countries including the railway route from China along Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan to Afghanistan, and through Afghanistan to Iran, Turkey and Europe.
In this connection, I am pleased to refer to the construction of the Hiratan – Mazar-e-Sharif railway which will be completed in the next few weeks; the ongoing construction of the Sangan-Herat railway and the ongoing preparation of the pre-feasibility study report for the Kandahar- Chaman railway.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, 2010-12-25