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Iranian, Afghan, Uzbek presidents focus on construction of transit road

The Presidents of Iran, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan said on Wednesday that setting up transit routes between the three countries, for which they signed an agreement, would help economic development of the regional states, IRNA reported from Tehran.

President Mohammad Khatami, Head of Afghan Interim Administration (AIA) Hamid Karzai and President Islam Karimov told a news conference that construction of transit road to link the three nations will have effective part in stability and security of the region.

They said that establishment of a transit road linking the three states will help the Central Asian nations to gain access to the international waters.

President Khatami said that all the regional states should become strong, it is the right of all nations to become stronger.

Khatami said that the three nations have cultural and historical affinity adding that the transit road would bring them closer together to develop economic cooperation.

President Khatami said that the ancient silk Road had effective role in boosting cultural relations among the regional states adding that establishment of the transit road will bring an overwhelming development in the region and at the international level.

He also called for setting up of railway networks to link national networks of Iran, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.

President Khatami said that Iran would do its best to help implement the agreement and start implementing the project.

He hoped that the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) would finance the project of building the transit road.

He also pointed to North-South Corridor which links Europe to India through Caucasus as a significant project which will bring a drastic change in the economic structure of the regional states.

President Karzai said that the transit road will help boost security in the region and contribute to stability of Afghanistan.

He said that the transit road is also important in terms of economic cooperation adding that the regional states would see economic development and progress by enjoying access road to one another.

President Karimov said that Uzbekistan enjoys excellent relations with the Islamic Republic and hoped that the transit road would serve to further develop Tehran-Tashkent relations.

He said that construction of the transit road will not only serve economic development, but, it would reinforce the pillars of peace, stability and security in the region.

Karimov called on the international organizations, especially the Islamic Development Bank to finance the project.

He complained that dlrs 220 million annual trade between Iran and Uzbekistan is not satisfactory and hoped that Iranian and Uzbek officials would make efforts to enhance the level of trade between the two countries.

... Payvand News - 6/18/03 ... --

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