Kabul (BNA) President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, President of Turkmenistan virtually participated at the inauguration ceremony for three Afghanistan-Turkmenistan joint projects on Thursday morning at the Presidential Palace.
In the ceremony, the high-ranking officials of Turkmenistan were also connected, a statement from the presidential palace said yesterday.
The inaugurated projects included the Aqeena-Andkhoy railway, Karki-Andkhoy-Pole Khumari 500KV power transmission line, and Imamnazar-Aqeena-Sarhadabad-Torghundi fiber optics line, according to the statement.
In the ceremony, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said he is confident that such projects will strongly support Afghanistan’s economy. President of Turkmenistan stressed that such projects will immensely contribute to the economic growth and productivity of industries in Afghanistan.
President Berdimuhamedov, as quoted in the statement, expressed gratitude to the President of Afghanistan for his wisdom and foresight that resulted in the success of joint infrastructural projects between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. He added that these projects will build more confidence in the people of Afghanistan for a self-reliant future and stressed that Turkmenistan will continue to support Afghanistan in economic, political, and diplomatic areas.
According to the statement, Turkmen President termed Afghanistan-Turkmenistan relations historic and deep-rooted and added that the projects that have been designed based on clear strategic objectives and understanding their long-term potentials will strengthen the bond of friendship between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan more than ever.
Meanwhile, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in his remarks said, “The inauguration of the Aqeena-Andkhoy railway and other infrastructural projects between the two countries are significant steps towards further deepening these relations and translating an important part of our vision for regional connectivity into reality.”
“It is an immense honor that Afghanistan is renewing long-standing relations with Central Asian countries after more than 100 years of isolation. The bonds of friendship forged between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan are valuable for the two governments and nations,” added the President, as quoted in the statement.
President Ghani said that regional connectivity clusters and large-scale projects that can link South Asia to Europe by land and to the rest of the world, will transform the living conditions of the Afghan people and improve the situation in the entire region. He added these programs will create development and social corridors that will boost our country’s rapid growth.
President Ghani also iterated that Afghanistan’s location as a roundabout and implementation of significant economic and infrastructural projects proves that our vision for regional connectivity is not an improbable dream, but an undeniable reality.
President Ghani said, “Those who thought that building a network of the railway in Afghanistan is impossible, need to reconsider their perspective.”
The President expressed gratitude to the president and the people of Turkmenistan for forging an enduring relationship and sustaining cooperation between the two countries by financing and implementation of large-scale projects, and programs that will lead to prosperity in both countries and the entire region.
President Ghani added that the level of relations between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan has improved from an ordinary relationship between two neighbor countries into a strategic partnership.
President highlighted that Turkmenistan is willing to play a proper role in the Afghan peace process, and the country has been consistently offering to host one round of Afghan peace talks in Ashgabat since 2013.
Referring to the support of Turkmenistan’s Ulama for the Afghan peace process, the President said, “I believe that the summit of Ulamas of the two Islamic countries will strengthen our peace negotiations more than ever.”