Uzbekistan intends to buy 1mn tons of Afghan coal – Daryo eng

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A high-level delegation from Uzbekistan expressed its intent to send a technical team to Kabul to discuss the procurement of one million tons of coal from Afghanistan, as it was reported by Ariana News. The delegation, led by Minister of Transport Ilhom Mahkamov and Uzbekistan’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Ismatullah Irgashev, articulated this proposal during a meeting with Amir Khan Muttaqi, Afghanistan’s Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Photo: The delegation, led by Minister of Transport Ilhom Mahkamov and Uzbekistan’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Ismatullah Irgashev, articulated this proposal during a meeting with Amir Khan Muttaqi, Afghanistan’s Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Source: Ariana News

The bilateral engagement between the two nations transcended coal procurement discussions, encompassing a wide array of political and economic matters. The dialogue touched upon themes of regional connectivity, transit projects, trade, joint investment, and the pivotal role of transit in fostering closer ties between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.

Mutaqqi emphasized Afghanistan’s newfound trajectory towards peace and stability, presenting a ripe opportunity for Uzbekistan and other regional stakeholders to engage with the Afghan economy under the Islamic Emirate’s regional connectivity policy, which prioritizes economic development.

Minister Mahkamov underscored Uzbekistan’s support for Afghanistan’s aspirations to become a transit hub in the region, signaling a commitment to bolstering bilateral cooperation. Mahkamov’s delegation comprised private sector representatives, railway experts, and mining engineers, indicative of Uzbekistan’s comprehensive approach to advancing collaborative initiatives.

Mahkamov’s team pledged to initiate feasibility studies for the Trans-Afghan railway project, with subsequent visits scheduled to commence practical work. Uzbekistan also offered to provide round-the-clock customs and border services while exploring avenues to reduce tariffs, facilitating smoother trade exchanges between the two nations.

Furthermore, Uzbekistan’s envoy, Irgashev, highlighted his country’s initiatives to foster closer people-to-people ties, including the issuance of long-term visas for truck drivers, traders, and soon extending to education, health, and tourism sectors. Irgashev also announced Uzbekistan’s plans to contribute to educational infrastructure in Afghanistan, with the construction of the Imam Bukhari madrasa in Mazar-e-Sharif.

Beyond economic cooperation, Uzbekistan expressed readiness to collaborate with Afghanistan in preserving historical heritage sites and shrines.

On March 12, Uzbekistan’s Foreign Minister, Bakhtiyor Saidov, undertook a diplomatic journey to Kabul, where he participated in crucial meetings and negotiations with representatives of Afghanistan’s interim government. During talks with the Acting Prime Minister, Saidov outlined Uzbekistan’s intentions to invest in several sectors within Afghanistan. These plans encompassed the establishment of a cement plant, initiatives for coal extraction, and the development of coal-based electricity generation.

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