Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan to agree on route of regional railway
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, July 18
By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:
The final decision on the route of the Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Turkmenistan (TAT) regional railway will be made after signing a trilateral agreement in late July in Dushanbe, Tajik media reported on July 18 citing Tajikistan's Minister of Transport Khairullo Asoev.
He said currently, negotiations with Turkmenistan on the route are underway, adding that the trilateral agreement will be signed after all the details are agreed.
Asoev went on to add that the agreement will be signed in Dushanbe, after the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to be held in late July, Tajikistan's Asia-Plus agency reported.
Certain details have already been agreed with Afghanistan. Previously, Afghanistan proposed to construct the railway on the Kelif (Turkmenistan) - Sher Khan Bandar (a trade port in the Kunduz province on the Afghan-Tajik border) route.
Nevertheless, the Kelif - Hoshadi route seems to be more preferable.
Tajik media said that the route proposed by Afghanistan doesn't meet Tajikistan's interests, and stressed that the new railway is important for Tajikistan since it is experiencing some difficulties due to the blockade of its goods by Uzbekistan.
The TAT railway project, the implementation of which began in early June 2013, is of great importance for the strategic, political and economic interests of all parties to the project. China, Iran and Kyrgyzstan are expected to join this project in the future. China, Iran and Kyrgyzstan are also expected to join this project.
Previously, the Turkmen side said that the TAT railway, with the length of 400 kilometers is expected to come into operation in 2015. Moreover, Turkmen railway men will lay the Afghan section of the railway.
This route will open a new corridor between Central Asia and world markets through the sea ports on the coast of the Indian Ocean. Its length is two times less than through Russia to the Baltic Sea coast.
Edited by CN