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Iran, Afghanistan To Invest 2 Billion Dollars In Transportation Sector

11/21/04 Tehran, Nov 21, IRNA -- The caretaker of the Ministry of Roads and Transportation said here Saturday that two billion dollars are needed to complete rail and road lines connecting Iran and Afghanistan.

Ahmad Sadeq Bonab made the remarks at a tripartite meeting of transportation officials of Iran, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.

Implementation of these projects would enhance the economic development of Iran by expanding activities in the North-South freight transportation corridor, he said.

He added that to date several prominent transportation projects have been inaugurated alongside the project to develop the North-South corridor.

"Effective measures have been undertaken for implementing the transportation agreements signed between the presidents of Iran, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan," he said.

Bonab added that construction operations on the 122-km Dogharoun-Herat highway have been completed and the highway is to be inaugurated in the near future.

He also pointed to the newly constructed Milak bridge -- also called the Silk bridge -- as an example of a project successfully undertaken by the two countries.

Iran, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan officials were present at the inaugural ceremony for the bridge which was held in the Afghan province of Nimroz on Saturday.

The construction of Herat-Maimana is another project which is due to be launched soon, he said.

The head of the Uzbek Transportation and Relations Organization, R. Fayzullayev, said that Iran, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan have agreed to boost their tripartite transportation cooperation.

"Due to the agreement, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan will get access to international waters via Iran," he said.

He expressed his country's readiness to work with China via the North-South corridor.

Afghan Deputy Minister of Public Works Dr. Wali Rasouli also praised Iran's cooperation towards efforts to reconstruct Afghanistan.

He expressed his gratitude to the government of Iran for undertaking eight development projects in Afghanistan.

He said his country was eager to work with the Iranian government in the implementation of more Iran-Afghanistan road and railway projects.

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