Turkmenistan-Afghanistan railway to be built by June 2015

Turkmen_Afgan_Railway Map: “Afghan, Tajik, Turkmen Presidents Open New Railway Construction”, RFE/RL, June 29, 2013

Turkmenistan-Afghanistan railway to be built by June 2015

By H. Hasanov, Trend, Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, June 18

The Turkmen Ministry of Railway Transport will act as a customer as well as a general contractor for the Atamyrat-Ymamnazar (Turkmenistan) – Akina (Afghanistan) railway construction project, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov’s decree said today.

According to the decree, the project also includes the construction of additional facilities and two bridges along the route. Construction work at these facilities will begin this month and are planned to be put into operation in June 2015.

According to the document, the date of delivery corresponds to the General Plan of Turkmen Railway Transport Development for 2012-2016.

A ceremony for launching the project was held in the Lebap region of Turkmenistan in early June with the participation of the presidents of the three countries – Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan – Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Hamid Karzai and Emomoli Rahmon.

The project is being implemented within the tripartite memorandum of understanding signed in Ashgabat in March 2013.

Ashgabat and Kabul signed the inter-governmental framework agreement on this project in 2011.

Turkmenistan which has a long border with Afghanistan, has repeatedly voiced a number of initiatives for the social and economic regeneration of the neighbouring state which have been positively assessed by the UN and the OSCE.

At the beginning of the year, the Turkmen capital hosted an international working meeting to promote the development of Afghanistan with the participation of neighbouring countries, international organisations and potential donor countries.

The largest of the proposed projects is the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline. Ashgabat believes that the construction of this pipeline will enable to solve a number of important issues connected with creating new jobs and formation of the infrastructure along the gas main line.