Thursday, January 06, 2005

Russian Information Agency Novosti

Russian Information Agency Novosti: "2005-01-06 11:47 * UZBEKISTAN * AFGHANISTAN * IRAN * COUNCIL *
TASHKENT HOSTS INTER-STATE COUNCIL'S SESSION

TASHKENT, January 6 (RIA Novosti) - Tashkent hosted the first session of an inter-state coordinating council for setting up a trans-Afghan corridor.

Talking to RIA Novosti, officials at the Iranian embassy in Uzbekistan noted that Iran's roads-and-transport minister Ahmad Sodiq Bunob, Afghanistan's public-works minister Suhrob Ali Safari, as well as Ravshan Faizullayev, board chairman of Uzbekistan's transport and transport-routes association, took part in the session.

The session examined various issues as regards that rapidly expanding cooperation between countries, parties to the afore-mentioned inter-state coordinating council.

President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan suggested establishing a trans-Afghan corridor that would link Central Asia with the Persian Gulf and Iranian ports. Karimov's initiative was supported by Afghan and Iranian leaders.

Karimov paid an official visit to Iran in June 2003, with the concerned parties signing an agreement on inter-state transport routes and directions. The inter-state coordinating council was established in line with that document's provisions.

The trans-Afghan corridor is to comprise Uzbekistan's Termez city, as well as Mazar-i-Sharif and Herat in Afghanistan. This route will eventually reach as far as Bandar-Abbas and Chobahor ports on Iranian territory, opening up new opportunities for the subsequent development of trade-and-economic ties between all regional countries, people at the Uzbekistan's transport and transport-routes association noted."

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