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Iran to set up Aryan bank in Afghanistan

12/4/04 Kabul, Dec 4, IRNA -- A license for establishment of an Iranian bank called 'Aryan bank' was issued Saturday in the capital city of Afghanistan, Kabul.

Head of Afghanistan's Central Bank Anvar al-Haq Ahadi expressed hope that Iran-Afghanistan economic and trade relations would broaden after Aryan bank began its banking operation in Kabul.

The number of foreign banks in Afghanistan, including the Iranian bank, has reached eleven, according to Ahadi.

Aryan bank has been co-founded by Bank Melli and Bank Saderat of Iran with an original capital of Dlrs 10 million.

Britain and Pakistan established their bank branches in the city of Kabul in 2002 and 2003, respectively.

"We do hope that Aryan bank would invest in such a major field as agriculture in Afghanistan given cultural and economic commonalties between the two countries," he added.

Iran's Ambassador to Kabul Mohammad-Reza Bahrami, in his meeting with Ahadi, stressed that the establishment of a bank in any country indicates restoration of stability and national security to that country.

Aryan bank will attempt to further promote bilateral trade relations, he said, adding Iranians' investment in Afghanistan would be facilitated due to the establishment of the Iranian bank.

Also in the meeting, Aryan bank Managing Director Majid Fotouhi said that financial, trade and economic problems between the two countries would be solved through the bank.

Aryan bank will formally start its operation as of December 15 in Kabul, Fotouhi added.

Aryan bank branches will be founded in other Afghan cities following strengthening of security in Afghanistan, he said.

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