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President Ghani meets Uzbek Foreign Minister

President Ghani meeting Uzbek Foreign Minister and his accompanying delegation

KABUL: President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani met yesterday with Abdulaziz Kamilov, Foreign Affairs Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and accompanying delegation at the Presidential Palace.
In the meeting, President Ghani said: “I’m praising my close friend and brother President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev for his initiative in holding Tashkent Conference to expand and consolidate regional consensus.”
The country’s President added that he welcomed any practical step that would be beneficial for expansion of relations between the two countries.
Afterwards, the Uzbek minister of foreign affairs Abdulaziz Kamilov said that his visit to Kabul is to report related to cooperation between the two countries and hear your visions and instructions for further organizing the affairs so further steps be taken in this regard.
Later on, Uzbek minister of foreign trade Jamshid Khodjaev briefed related to trade, transit and transport sections between the two countries as well as various projects.
He called Afghanistan as key partner of Uzbekistan in transit, trade and transport, adding that relations were increasing in various fields between the two countries.
According to him, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan’s trade has increased by 19 percent and in May 2018, it increased by 15 percent.
The Uzbek trade minister said tens of Afghan and Uzbek companies have invested in Afghanistan and “We are ready to invest in the cement industry, in addition to the infrastructural building,” said the statement quoting him going on as saying that efforts were going on to provide the way for public and private investment in Termiz Cargo center as well as issue visa for the Afghans.
Jamshid Khodjaev stated that they had allocated up to 3000 hectares of land for a free economic zone with Afghanistan and that Uzbekistan’s commitment of $500 million for building Mazar-e-Sharaif – Herat railway, was in place, the statement quoted adding that a joint technical team would start work on the railway’s practically activation’s timeline.
“We are completely ready to work on activation of six factories,” said the minister adding they had practically started work on the projects.
Meantime, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said Afghanistan had wide investment capacity, which should be used properly. “Both countries’ trade should be bilateral and I instruct my related organs to prepare commercial items, which are expected to be exported to Uzbekistan, a plan would help secure a trade balance between the two countries.”
The president asked the visiting Uzbek delegation for activation of five cement factories and added that Afghanistan possessed aluminum, iron and talc and the two countries technical teams should work on joint investment in this area.
According to the president, investment has been made in Nayeb Abad area, near Hairatan and an export zone would be created therein, as Hairatan was provided for imports and it should also be considered as export zone.
“In Mazar-e-Sharif, up to 1000 hectares of lands have been provided for industrial parks, with the initial works have been done,” said the president adding Termiz was important for Afghanistan, as greenhouses should be built for keeping Afghan fruits and vegetables exports to Kazakhstan and Russia.
The president said a joint technical team should tackle the available problem and the Afghan team should visit Uzbekistan to speak in detail with the Uzbek side, about the issue, the statement continued.
Thanking Uzbekistan cooperation in activation of the textiles factories in Afghanistan, the country’s president said Afghan cotton had good market in India, but due to the discount considered by the European countries, the cotton could be exported to Europe, the statement concluded.
The Kabul Times

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