Iran, Afghanistan initiate setting up cross-border railway in Herat

Afghanistan to be connected with Iran via railway end of this week

Kabul: Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhundi and Afghan Minister of Finance Eklil Ahmad Hakimi and Minister of Public Works Mahmoud Baligh initiated setting up Herat-Khaf railway on Iran-Afghan on Wednesday. Afghanistan Ministry of Urban Development and Housing announced that the third phase of the Khwaf-Herat railway would be completed by the end of this week.

In inauguration ceremony in border district called ‘Candle & Blade’ Akhundi and Eklil Hakimi in their speeches underlined expansion of bilateral cooperation.

The two ministers called the project important for exchanging commercial goods in the region and between the two countries.

Hakimi said that the third phase of rail installation will end in next few days until the city of Ghorian and then the fourth phase will start by financial aids of Italy to the airport of Herat city of Afghanistan with financial support from the Iranian government.

The Afghan Finance Minister Hakimi said that from Herat airport to Turkmenistan border the rail installation will be done in upcoming years by financial support of Japan and the Asian Development Bank.

Public Works Minister Mahmoud Baligh said in the ceremony that Afghanistan government intends to develop railway and wants to have trade corridor in the region.

Distance from Khaf to Herat by railway is 191 kilometers, from which 114 kilometers is on the Afghan soil and 77 kilometers on the Iranian territory.

Starting from Khwaf in Iran, the 191km railway will pass through Ghoriyan and Zinda Jan and continue to the vicinity of Herat’s airport.
The railway will connect Iran to central Asian countries, and it will enable Afghan traders to tap other markets for imports and exports.
The rail line will revolutionize the economic condition of Afghanistan as it will doors of trade by providing access to Turkey-Europe railway network and Iranian ports in the Persian Gulf.
Experts believe the rail line will strengthen Afghanistan-Iran ties and will prove to be vital for regional security.
This is the second railway after Hairatan-Mazar that connects Afghanistan to its neighboring country.
Work on Khwaf-Herat railway started in 2007 but faced many delays.


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