The Uzbek Minister of Transport accompanying a delegation called on IEA-Foreign Minister

The Minister of Transport of the Republic of Uzbekistan Mr. Ilkhom Mahkamov & the Special Representative of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mr. Ismatullah Ergashov accompanied by a delegation called on IEA-Foreign Minister, Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi.The meeting underlined the bilateral political, economic relations, regional connectivity, transit projects, joint investment opportunities & the importance transit role of Afghanistan & Uzbekistan in the region.At the outset, appreciating Uzbekistan for extending support in political and economic matters, FM Muttaqi stressed on on the continuation and expansion of such cooperations.Additionally, FM Muttaqi said that after period of war, there is peace and stability ensured in Afghanistan, this is a good opportunity for Uzbekistan & for the entire region to take advantage, which is a glad tiding for security & economic stability of the region, & efforts need to be accelerated for the implementation of the major economic projects.Extending gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the warm reception and the preparation of this trip, the Minister of Transport of Uzbekistan, Mr. Ilkhom Mahkamov, said that this time, we are accompanied by a strong technical team of private sector, railways, geology and mining, adding that the President and the leadership of the Republic of Uzbekistan are paying serious attention to Afghanistan, & I want to assure you on behalf of the leadership that we support the policy of IEA seeking Afghanistan to be a transit hub in the region.Mr. Mahkamov said that he has come with a team of engineers for the practical commencement and feasibility of the Afghan-Trans project, & in a few weeks time, another delegation is coming to Afghanistan with equipment for the construction of the Afghan railway, who will practically start work with other concerned departments.Moreover, a technical team of geology and mines will hold meetings with the officials of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum of Afghanistan to explore and extract oil and gas, as well as other opportunities in Afghanistan, adding further, he said that we are ready to provide 24-hour customs and border services between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, and we have lowered the transport and transit tariffs to improve the transport and transit services between the two countries. Expressing gratitude for the goodwill regarding strengthening of economic and political relations, FM Muttaqi said that the progress in facilitation of visa issuance for Afghan businessmen and transport workers is a good step forward, adding that it is necessary to extend these services for the health, education purposes, & finally for tourism of ordinary Afghans.The Special Representative of the President of Uzbekistan, Mr. Asmatullah Irgashov, expressed condolences for the recent floods & the loss lives & said that we, as a Muslim brother and neighbor, will help to the extent we can, adding that the Republic of Uzbekistan is supporting the statement of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan that economic should not be politicised in order to achieve economic prosperity in the region.In response to visa issuance, the SPR said that we have started issuing visas to Afghan drivers & businessmen, and now we are working on long-term visas for them, as well as trying to issue visas for educational, health and tourism purposes for Afghans. Additionally, He mentioned that a technical team is coming to Kabul in the near future to purchase more than one million tons of coal from Afghanistan, & the team of engineers will also come to Afghanistan soon to start the construction work of Imam Al-Bukhari Madrasah in Mazar-e-Sharif, & expressed readiness that Uzbekistan is ready to work together with the Ministry of Information and Culture of Afghanistan in the construction and renovation of historical places and shrines.