Uzbekistan, Germany want to combine efforts to build Afghan infrastructure
TASHKENT. Oct 8 (Interfax) - Uzbekistan and Germany held political consultations in Tashkent regarding the current situation and peace prospects of Afghanistan, the Uzbek Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.
The parties were represented by the Uzbek president's special representative for Afghanistan, Ismatull Irgashev, and the German government's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Markus Potzel, the ministry said.
A particular focus was on coordination in implementing the provisions and recommendations of the March 27 declaration of an international conference on Afghanistan held in Tashkent, the ministry said.
"The parties also discussed raising financial resources to speed up the implementation of the projects to build a railroad between Mazar-i-Sharif and Herat and a power line between Surkhan and Puli-Khumri, various roads and other infrastructure in Afghanistan," the statement said.
The parties noted the importance of German participation in Uzbek-proposed educational projects, including an educational center for Afghans in Termez, and the creation of an international foundation to support education in Afghanistan, the ministry said.
The agreements to build the railroad and the power line jointly with Uzbekistan were reached during Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's visit to Tashkent last December.
Experts believe that the 760-kilometer railroad is of major geostrategical importance. It will be a continuation of the earlier Uzbek project that built a rail line from Hairatan to Mazar-i-Sharif.
The 260-kilometer power line between the Uzbek village of Surkhan and Puli-Khumri (of which 45 kilometers is in Uzbekistan) will increase power supplies to Afghanistan which began in 2002.