TEHRAN (Iran News) – The heads of the railways of Iran and Afghanistan met on Monday in Tehran to discuss avenues of mutual cooperation and ways for resuming halted joint projects, the portal of Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (known as RAI) reported.
In this meeting, Miad Salehi and Bakht-ur-Rehman Sharafat talked about resuming the reconstruction and the completion of the third section of the Khaf-Herat railway.
Speaking at this gathering, Salehi stressed the Iranian government’s policies for expanding cooperation with neighboring countries and said: “Based on the policies of the 13th government administration and the transport diplomacy that is being followed by the government, very good agreements have been reached with neighboring countries in recent months.”
“We also welcome cooperation with Afghanistan,” Salehi said, adding: “If Afghanistan is ready for long-term cooperation and practical agreements with our country, we will also declare our readiness in this regard.”
The RAI head also expressed Iran’s determination to launch the Khaf-Herat railway as soon as possible and stressed the need to take operational steps to determine the requirements and ways to make this route operational.
The official also suggested that Iranian companies can finance the project and in return, Afghanistan can award them the development of the country’s mines.
He also called on the Afghan side to ensure the safety and security of Iranian companies that are going to work in the country.
“Iran and Afghanistan have many capacities, but these potential capacities are not used properly and the enemies are happy with the backwardness of our countries,” Salehi said.
Sharafat, the head of the Afghan Railways Administration, for his part said: “The Afghan government welcomes cooperation with Iran.”
He called on the Iranian Ministry of Transport and Urban Development to reconstruct and complete the third section of the Khaf-Herat railway as soon as possible and to resume holding training courses and technical programs for Afghan railway personnel.
The 222-kilometers-long Khaf-Herat railway is part of the Iran-Afghanistan rail corridor. The project, whose implementation started in 2007, connects Iran’s eastern city of Khaf to Afghanistan’s western city of Ghoryan.
The construction of the third section of the project was halted after the regime change in Afghanistan.