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Wednesday 3 February 2021

Tajikistan Negotiating the Financing of the Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Turkmenistan Railway

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DUSHANBE (Avesta news agency) — About $128 mln dollars are needed for the construction of the Tajik section of the Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Turkmenistan railway project, Tajikistan’s Transport Minister Azim Ibrohim said today at a press conference.

According to him, the route of this project has been approved by the government commission and negotiations are underway with financial institutions to raise funds for its implementation. Ibrohim said:

Tajikistan has not refused to participate in this project and it must be implemented. The problem is the financing of the project. Currently, negotiations on the financing of the Tajik section of this project are underway with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

According to the Ministry of Transport, the Tajik section crosses the territories of the Balkhi and Panj regions with a connection to Kunduz in Afghanistan.

A memorandum on the construction of the Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Turkmenistan railway was signed in March 2013 by the presidents of the three countries. Later, ADB allocated $9 million in grants to develop a feasibility study for the future railway, promising to finance the construction of the Afghan section of the project. However, in December 2015, it suspended its support for the project due to the troubled situation in Afghanistan.

Previously, there had been contentious issues concerning the choice of route for this railroad through Afghan territory. Two routes were proposed. The length of the short route proposed by Tajikistan was 160 kilometres. The route proposed by the Afghan side was more than 500 kilometres. As a result, the parties were able to agree and sign the relevant protocol.

In December 2016, the first stage of the transnational railway was put into service, passing through the territory of Turkmenistan to the Afghan border Atamyrat-Ymamnazar (Turkmenistan)-Akina (Afghanistan).

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