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Afghan, Iranian Officials Meet and Discus Khaf-Herat Railway

Hassan Kazemi Qomi, the special representative of Iran to Afghanistan met with Bakht-ur- Rahman Sharafat, the head of the Taliban railway administration, and discussed possible areas of cooperation.

The Embassy of Iran to Kabul has said that the two sides discussed railway cooperation and utilization of the Khaf-Herat railway, a railway linking the two sanctioned countries t to the global markets via China.

The Iranian Embassy in Kabul on Sunday in a tweet said, “Views were exchanged to increase railway cooperation, including the operation of the Khaf-Herat railway, completion of the route, and enhancing educational, technical and equipment cooperation between the two sides.

The Taliban authorities are optimistic to utilize the Khaf-Herat railway as they have already dispatched a group of employees to retain the required training in Tehran.  

During the former Afghanistan government, the Taliban were accused of destabilizing the security of the Khaf-Herat railway. Nearly three years ago, due to the explosion of a bomb placed on this route, at least four people were killed, and the then-Afghan Presidential Palace blamed the Taliban for the incident.

The Khaf-Herat railway project has been part of a proposed $2 billion Five Nations Railway Corridor (FNRC), which would run through Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and China. The total length is 2,000 km and the railway route runs from Herat to the Afghan-Tajik border and, after crossing Tajikistan, passes through Kyrgyzstan, where it will reach China’s Xinjiang region via the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan (CKU) railway.