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Iran ready to bolster trade cooperation with Afghanistan

1/3/05 Kabul, Jan 3, IRNA -- Iran's ambassador to Kabul here on Sunday announced his country's readiness to boost all kinds of economic and trade cooperation with Afghanistan.

Mohammad Reza Bahrami made the remarks during a meeting with Afghan Minister of Finance Anwar ul-Haq Ahady.

Iran kicked off its cooperation on reconstruction of Afghanistan following the transitional government's establishment, Bahrami said.

Based on a 5-year commitment, Iran is due to donate 50 million dollars annually to the war-torn country, the Iranian envoy said. He added that the total donation will reach 250 million dollars by 2006.

The official said that Iran was implementing 16 development projects in Afghanistan including the construction of Herat-Dogharoun road, implementation of a project to provide Herat's water and electricity and construction of a technical and vocational center in Herat.

A total of 5 million dollars has been invested for implementation of the aforesaid projects, Bahrami said.

He Touched upon the eagerness of Iranian businessmen for further investments in Afghanistan, saying the establishment of the 'Ariyan Bank' --the first Iranian bank opened on December 26 in Kabul-- would pave the way for expanding bilateral cooperation.

The Afghan minister, for his part, praised the efforts made by Iranian officials to reconstruct Afghanistan, saying that Iran was a close ally of his country.

He also called on Iran to draw up a plan for providing Kabul's electricity.

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