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Afghanistan interested in Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project

Tuesday, March 25
Azerbaijan and Afghanistan's positions coincide on many issues and the Afghan government has always supported Baku within international organizations, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said on March 18.

The minister made the remarks at a briefing held jointly with Afghan Foreign Minister, Zarar Ahmad Osmani.

"The political relations between the two countries are at a high level," the minister said.

Mammadyarov said the Afghan side is very interested in using and participating in the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project.

He said the transit of NATO cargo from Afghanistan through Azerbaijan was also one of the topics discussed during the meeting between the two ministers.

The parties also discussed education possibilities for Afghan students in Azerbaijan and cooperation in the energy sphere, Mammadyarov said, adding that the Afghan side also took the initiative to establish an intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation.

In turn the Afghan FM expressed the hope that talks in Baku will soon contribute to the development of bilateral cooperation in all fields.

He said one of the main areas being considered was the possibility of economic cooperation and participation of Afghanistan in regional projects such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars and other transport developments.

Osmani also praised Azerbaijan's efforts to combat terrorism and the country's contribution to restoring stability in Afghanistan.

It is planned to construct a new 105-kilometre long railroad branch line under the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project.

Aside from that, the Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi-Marabda railway section will be reconstructed in Georgia, increasing its capacity to 15 million tons of cargo per year.

It is also planned to build a station at Akhalkalaki for transition of trains from rail tracks in Georgia to the European ones.

The corridor's peak capacity will be 17 million tons of cargo per year. At the initial stage this figure will stand at one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo.