New railway line inaugurated in Afghanistan

Kabul: Giving landlocked Afghanistan a new and much-needed connection to the outside world, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Turkmenistan’s president, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov inaugurated a new railway line on Monday.

At the inauguration ceremony, Ghani spoke of an “historic day for Afghanistan and its people.” Berdymukhamedov said the Imam Nazar-Aqina line “could play a key role for trade between the two countries.”

The Imam Nazar-Aqina railway line starts in Ata Murad in Turkmenistan and goes to Afghanistan’s Aqina port, 3.5 kilometres from the joint border, according to Musafer Qoqandi, spokesman for the Afghan ministry of commerce and industry.

He said the railway line is the second to connect Afghanistan with Turkmenistan and the country’s fourth. Other railway lines connect Afghanistan with China and Usbekistan, while a connection to Iran is under construction. “Railways play vital roles for landlocked countries like Afghanistan,” Qoqandi added. -DPA