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Afghanistan, Uzbekistan Support Development of a Free Economic Zone

in Afghan Business

Afghanistan, Uzbekistan Support Development of a Free Economic Zone

The leaders of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan discussed various cooperation areas in a virtual meeting spearheaded by the United States on the occasion of the inaugural U.S. – Afghanistan – Uzbekistan Trilateral Meeting.

The teleconference was attended by Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar, Uzbekistan Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov and Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale.

Participants reaffirmed the importance of trilateral discussions to address mutual issues of concern including political, security, economic, and human development matters.

In the areas of economy, the participants intend to deepen cooperation through the development of the Free Economic Zone at the Termez border crossing to promote trade between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.

Afghanistan and Uzbekistan participants also emphasized on increasing the volume of freight transit, reviewing and improving legal frameworks, policy reforms, sharing of information, use of appropriate technology, risk management and investment in infrastructure and human resources.

They also discussed the construction of railways linking Uzbekistan with ports in Pakistan and beyond, in particular, the feasibility of construction of railways along the Mazar-e-Sharif-Herat-Bahramcha and Mazar-e-Sharif-Kabul-Torkham routes.

Both parties also supported regional energy projects such as CASA-1000 (the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project), Central Asia Regional Electricity Market (CAREM), multi-lateral development bank electricity transmission projects, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Pipeline, and the construction of the 500 kilovolt Surkhan-Puli-Khumri (Khoja-Alvan) power transmission line. The participants agreed to establish a working group to implement the decisions made under this trilateral.

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