The president of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev wants India to join a railway project which would connect landlocked countries of Eurasia and Iran. The railway line will be connected from Afghanistan with the aim of stabilizing these countries.
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The railway project would connect three major cities of Afghanistan i.e. Mazar-e-Sharif to Herat to Kabul. This was agreed by Uzbekistan President Mirziyoyev and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani. “Uzbekistan supports greater presence of India in Central Asia that will also help Afghanistan”, sources said.
India has invested in major projects in Afghanistan after the Taliban lost its power in 2001. India helped Afghanistan build its parliament, the restoration of the Stor Palace, the rebuilding of the Habiba school and many more.
Ilkhomjon Nematov Ambassador on Special Assignments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan spoke about the importance of India as a partner not only in Asia but in the whole world.
Uzbekistan wishes to open its trade and connectivity to the Indian Ocean. Uzbekistan has already pledged $500 million for the rail project. If India joins this rail project it will become another regional connectivity project for India.
India has previously worked on the building of the Zarani-Delaram Highway in Afghanistan. India and Iran have also decided to accelerate Chabahar port cooperation which immensely assists Afghanistan and Central Asian nations for trading with New Delhi.
Just concluded a very productive #IndiaIran Joint Commission Meeting with my co-chair FM @JZarif. Reviewed the entire gamut of our cooperation. Agreed on accelerating our Chabahar project. pic.twitter.com/vo0YjHONpF
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) December 22, 2019
India is dedicated to building a rail route, starting from Chabahar to Zahedan to the Iran-Afghan border, Uzbekistan President Mirziyoyev is excited about joining the transit trade agreement signed by India, Afghanistan, and Iran.
The rail route from Herat, which would extend to Kabul, will also link India’s “Air Corridor”, which would bypass Pakistan. It would ease the agriculture and dry fruits import and export from India to Afghanistan and vice versa.
Uzbekistan looks committed to the project by conducting talks with Iran and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The Uzbek president stated that “ where there’s a will, there’s a railway”, these were the lines which through Uzbekistan invited India to build rail link through Afghanistan.