SHIBERGHAN (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday said railway, electricity and fiber optic projects between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan would help improve the livelihood of Afghans and peoples of the region.
President Ghani and Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow attended online the inauguration ceremony of the Aqina-Andkhoi railway line in northwestern Faryab province on Thursday. The 30-kilometer railroad connects Aqina port with Turkmenistan. During the ceremony, the two countries also signed three projects including a 500kw electricity line running from Aqina to Shiberghan, capital of Jawzjan province, a 220kw electricity line connecting Shiberghan to Mazar-e-Sharif, capital of Balkh province and fiber optic network that connects the two countries.
Ashraf Ghani, talking to the ceremony through a video link, said that implementation of the railway, Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) power projects and the fiber optic that connects South Asia to Europe and the world would bring better livelihood to the Afghans and people in the region. “Our regional cooperation with Turkmenistan is very important, and for that reason, Afghanistan has trilateral (Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-America), (Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Iran) and (Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan) cooperation with Turkmenistan,” Ghani said.
He said the Afghan people would be also witness to more projects in near future that would turn Afghanistan into a crossroad of the region. Implementation of 500kv project from Aqina to Shiberghan and 220kv from Shiberghan to Mazar-i-Sharif were important for strengthening economic relations and connection between the two neighbors, Ghani said. He added the fiber optic was another important project and its cables had reached Aqina port.
Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow told the ceremony participants that he was happy about the inauguration of the railway project as people of his country had long dreamed for it. He said the projects were in the interest of both the countries that would help them connect to Europe.