Iran hails Khaf-Herat railway as great step forward

December 11, 2020 - 18:10

TEHRAN — Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh has hailed the Tehran-Kabul relations as an excellent example of good neighborliness, referring to the Khaf-Herat railway as a great step toward expanding bilateral cooperation.

“The Iran-Afghanistan relations are day by day moving toward an excellent example of good neighborliness in this region,” Khatibzadeh tweeted on Thursday.

He added that the Islamic Republic of Iran proudly stands by the friendly and brotherly people and government of Afghanistan along the path of stability and development of that country.

Earlier on Thursday, Iran and Afghanistan inaugurated a strategic railway that connects Iran’s eastern city of Khaf to Afghanistan’s western city of Herat.

The railway project began in the fiscal year of 2007-2008. It included four parts, of which Iran was in charge of completing three, including two on its own soil and one on the Afghan soil.

During the inaugural ceremony, which was held via a videoconference, President Rouhani hailed the brotherly relations between the Iranian and Afghan nations, saying the inauguration of the Khaf-Herat railway will bolster the two countries’ ties.

“Today is a day of greeting, a day of blessing and a day of commencement for the two great nations of Afghanistan and Iran,” Rouhani said during the ceremony, according to IRNA.

He said the fates of the nations are intertwined. “Afghanistan’s development is our development and its security is our security.”

The president explained that the Khaf-Herat railway and the Mirjaveh railway are two key railways in Iran’s eastern parts, connecting the country to Afghanistan and Pakistan respectively.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani also expressed satisfaction over the inauguration of the railway project, saying it was the outcome of the two countries’ tireless efforts to bring prosperity to both sides.

He said the completion of the project in spite of problems created by the coronavirus pandemic is a clear example of the two sides’ national will to ensure development and economic progress.

Also, in remarks on Wednesday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described the railway as an act of bridge-building, saying it will contribute to regional stability and development.

“The Khaf-Herat railway’s significance is not only for Iran & Afghanistan, but for the greater region,” Zarif wrote in a tweet.

“As a gateway that'll boost trade and people-to-people exchanges, it will also contribute to regional stability & development,” he said, adding, “Turning our frontiers into bridges is a priority.”

Mohsen Rouhisefat, Iran’s former ambassador to Kabul, has told ISNA that the railway project is a “strategic move” that will help regional alliance.

Rouhisefat said the most important aspect the project is that it connects the land-locked Afghanistan to the sea.

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