Kabul, Bishkek discuss strong trade relationship
KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai and his Kyrgyz counterpart on Thursday agreed to increase trade ties through establishing roads and railway lines between the two countries as they met in Bishkek on the eve of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit.
President Karzai left for Kyrgyzstan for a two-day visit to attend the 13th meeting of the Council of Heads of states-members of the SCO. He is accompanied by Foreign Minister Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Deputy Foreign Minister Irshad Ahmadi and his chief spokesman Aimal Faizi, a statement from president’s office said.
Kyrgyz president Almazbek Atambayev welcomed Karzai and expressed his gladness that the Afghan leader decided to participate in the summit, devoted to the issue of the regional security, in which Afghanistan plays a key role. He wished strong relations with Afghanistan, saying they had an embassy in Kabul.
Both leaders discussed road and and railway projects that could help improve trade relations between the countries and suggested a railroad linking China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Iran.
Karzai said the railroad would help connect his landlocked country with central Asian states. He also invited Atambayev to visit Kabul if he can.
China, Russia and four Central Asian states granted Afghanistan the observer status in their regional group earlier this year. Iran, India, Mongolia, and Pakistan are SCO observer members.
Karzai is also expected to meet his Russian, Chinese and Iranian counterparts on the sidelines of the SCO summit to discuss regional cooperation against terrorism and other regional issues including security.
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