On January 14, 2021, the inauguration of the 30-kilometer railway section between the Aqina-Andkhoy stations of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan took place.
The event was attended by the heads of Turkmenistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, members of governments, heads and representatives of a number of ministries and departments of the two countries, public organizations.
The Chairman of the Agency “Türkmendemirýollary” (Turkmen Railways) A. Atamuradov and the head of the Afghan Railway Authority Mohammad Yamma Shams informed the ceremony participants about the construction work.
In his speech, A. Atamuradov noted that the Aqina-Andkhoy railway branch connected with the railway system of Turkmenistan is the part of the Asian International Railway Transport Corridor and is intended to become one of the key links of the Lapis-Lazuli corridor. He spoke about the well-coordinated work of the Turkmen and Afghan railway workers who worked hard on the implementation of this project. It was noted that this and other routes initiated by the head of state contribute to building up the transport and transit potential of both Turkmenistan and the entire region, contributing to the strengthening of fruitful trade and economic cooperation.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the head of the Afghan Railway Authority Mohammad Yamma Shams noted the high level of Turkmen-Afghan cooperation in the field of transport. Yamma Shams expressed gratitude to the President of Turkmenistan for assistance in the implementation of this project. He noted that the efficiency of this railway will continue to grow, creating new jobs and expanding the transport and transit potential of Afghanistan. Thus, the Aqina-Andkhoy railway line will open up new opportunities for the development of the Afghan economy and the revitalization of its small and medium-sized businesses.
During the ceremony, President of Turkmenistan GurbangulyBerdimuhamedov and President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani gave their blessing for the commissioning of the Aqina-Andkhoy railway line.
The opening of this railway branch was marked by the solemn dispatch from the Aqina station towards the city of Andkhoy of a train consisting of 20 cars loaded with export products from Turkmenistan.
At the end of the ceremony, the Turkmen and Afghan railway workers who worked hard on the construction of the facility were presented with valuable gifts on behalf of the President of Turkmenistan.
It is important to note that the Memorandum of Understanding on the construction of the Aqina-Andkhoy railway between the “Türkmendemirýollary” Agency of the Ministry of Industry and Communication of Turkmenistan and the Afghan Railway Authority was signed following the results of high-level bilateral talks held in Ashgabat in February 2019.