Iran, Afghanistan discuss ways to complete Khaf-Herat railway

July 25, 2020 - 14:36

TEHRAN- Iranian and Afghan officials investigated the ways to complete Khaf-Herat railway on Friday.

Afghan official with Herat Governor's Office Jilani Farhad told IRNA that a joint committee was set up following the emphasis of the Afghan president to accelerate construction and completion of the project considering its significance to improve transit between Iran and Afghanistan.

Vahid Ghatali, the governor of Herat, appreciated the efforts made by the Iranian consulate in Herat to help accelerate the “national project”.

Construction of Khaf-Herat railway, which is underway in four parts and is 193 km, began in 2007.   

Two parts of the railway (77 km), which is located in Iran, has been completed a long time ago but the two other parts (116 km), on the Afghan soil, are yet to be worked out.

Earlier this month, Iranian Transport and Urban Development Minister Mohammad Eslami said that Khaf-Herat railway will become operational before the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2021).

The minister announced that a part of the Khaf-Herat railway will be constructed by Iran while the remaining part will be built by neighboring Afghanistan, Mehr news agency reported.

Construction operation of the part related to Iran is on the verge of completion, Eslami emphasized.

He put the length of the railway from border to Khaf city at 66km and stated, “The significance of this giant project is that the railway in Afghanistan will be revived so that Afghanistan will be connected to Iran’s national railway network as well as other parts of the world.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Eslami pointed to the transit and added, “Iran has a variety of routes such as North-South Corridor and also East-West Corridor in a way that transiting Afghan territory and investing in Afghanistan is essential for Iranian traders and also this country.”

Afghanistan government has commitments to transfer the country’s mining and mineral capacity to other countries so that a treaty inked between India, Afghanistan, and Iran will have an effective role in this regard, he added.

Khaf-Herat railway, as long as 35km, will connect the Iraqi rail network to Central Asia.

Khaf-Herat is part of the Iran-Afghanistan rail corridor. The project started in the fiscal year of 2007-2008, connects Iran’s eastern city of Khaf to Afghanistan’s western city of Ghoryan.

In a meeting with Afghanistan’s Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar in Tehran on June 22, Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian said that the third section of Khaf-Herat railway project which connects the rail networks of Iran and Afghanistan will come on stream in the third quarter of the current Iranian calendar year (September 22-December 20).

Underlining the significance of the two countries' economic relations, the official said that completing this section is aimed at accelerating the development of economic relations between the two countries.

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