Iran, Afghanistan sign MoU on water, energy cooperation

June 26, 2006
KABUL (IRNA) – Iranian Minister of Energy Parviz Fattah and Afghan Minister of Energy and Water Mohammad Esmail Khan in a meeting here Sunday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in water and energy sectors.

At the meeting, the Afghan minister referred to the 11-Article document as a significant agreement.

Appreciating Iran's assistance in his country's reconstruction, he said that a number of Afghan border cities in Herat, Farah and Neemroze provinces currently have access to sustainable energy from Iran.

Turning to the serious shortage of electricity in the Afghan capital of Kabul, he said that within the framework of the signed MoU, two 50-megawatt thermal turbines will be installed in Kabul with the cooperation of Iranian experts.

He put the energy required in this city with a four million population at 300 megawatts and hoped that once the turbines are installed in Kabul, part of its energy requirements will be supplied before the coming winter.

The Afghan minister reiterated the need for growing collaboration between the two countries.

"Some 450 megawatts is generated in Afghanistan, while there is a demand for 1,000 Megawatts, of which 300 Megawatts is needed in Kabul," he added.

For his part, Fattah said that this is his fourth meeting with the officials from Afghanistan's Ministry of Energy and Water in the past four months, adding that the number of meetings show the expansion of the level of mutual relations in the fields of energy and water.

He said that ministers of energy and water from Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan are scheduled to meet in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe in the coming month.

The minister said that Iran intends to raise the level of ties with the neighboring countries in the domains of water and electricity.

"If understanding is reached among the meeting parties, mutual relations can be raised to trilateral and quadrilateral ones," concluded Fattah.

Iran's energy minister heading a delegation arrived in Kabul on Saturday on a two-day visit.

On Saturday afternoon, Fattah and his entourage conferred with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Meanwhile, they visited Kabul's Water Research Center and a thermal power plant.