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Afghanistan and Tajikistan: Committed Partners and Good Neighbors

On August 25, President Hamid Karzai and Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta traveled to Dushanbe, Tajikistan for meetings with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon. The counterparts discussed security, border protection, and economic integration.

President Karzai praised Tajikistan as a good neighbor and trading partner, and expressed the Afghan government’s interest in enhancing ties between the two nations, especially in the power generation sector.

"Multi-faceted cooperation with Afghanistan is a priority area of Tajikistan's foreign policy, and we are making every effort necessary to expand the framework of relations between the two states," said President Rahmon.

The trip concluded at a ceremony inaugurating a key road bridge linking Nizhny Panj in Tajikistan and Shir Khan Bandar in Afghanistan over the Panj River. The bridge will boost economic development and help reduce poverty on both sides of the border by increasing regional trade and investment, and stimulating small and medium-sized businesses and farms. With a capacity of up to 1,000 vehicles daily, it will help connect a regional highway eventually extending from Karachi, Pakistan to Astana, Kazakhstan, including a network of more than 4,000 kilometers (2485.4 miles) of roads within Afghanistan that have been constructed or reconstructed since 2001.

Designed by the Army Corps of Engineers, the bridge was funded by the United States with a major contribution by Norway. Since January 2006, over 450 Tajiks and Afghans worked together daily to build this structure. Workers from the Philippines, Thailand, India, Russia, Europe, Africa and North America provided their construction expertise.

"The bridge will improve economic and trade cooperation between the countries and the regions,” said President Karzai.

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