(MENAFN - Pajhwok Afghan News) MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Uzbekistan on Wednesday reiterated its support for in diverse fields from energy to higher , trade, transport, electricity to air flights and rail links.
Uzbekistan's President Special Envoy for Afghanistan Ismatilla Irgashev, who visited the Hairatan Port in northern Balkh on Wednesday, emphasized on strengthening his country's cooperation with Afghanistan in the mentioned fields.
Irgashev participated in a ceremony held for delivering 25 buses and three tractors in aid from Uzbekistan to high-ranking Afghan officials at the port.
In addition to local Balkh officials, Minister of Transport Mohammad Hamid Tahmasi all the way travelling from to attend the event.
Speaking on the occasion, Irgashev said Uzbekistan was committed to supporting Afghanistan in energy, higher education, trade, transport, electricity, air flights, and rail link spheres.
He said bilateral ties between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan had reduced to zero due to the long years of war, but currently there were a lot of possibilities for engagement in various sectors. 'We want to stand beside our brotherly Afghan nation in difficult situations.'
An Afghan Consulate would soon be opened in Termez city of Uzbekistan near the Hairatan border crossing, he said, adding, 'Based on orders from the President, higher education opportunities for hundreds of Afghan students have been paved. The scholarships would be offered soon.'
He said Uzbekistan had decided to reduce the price of electricity exported to Afghanistan in summer months.
Irgashev called flights' initiation between the two countries last month as a good omen for strengthening bilateral ties.
He said his country wanted insurgents to shun violence and join the Afghan government-initiated peace process and hoped with his country's expanding cooperation with Afghanistan, the ground for peace negotiations would be paved.
The Afghanistan government was making efforts to facilitate transport between the two nations and the buses Uzbekistan provided today would be used in capital Kabul, Afghan Transportation and Civil Aviation Minister Mohammad Hamid Tahmasi said.
'We thank our friendly country Uzbekistan for the humanitarian assistance and I hope the friendly relations between the two countries will continue towards technical and professional cooperation,' he said.
Tahmasi asked Irgashev to study the contract Afghanistan had sent with regard to transit and transportation facilities between Hairatan Port and Andijan area of Uzbekistan near the Kyrgyzstan border and then to Kashgar area of China.
He said with the signing of the contract by Uzbekistan, many transport and business facilities would be brought into being between the countries.
Meanwhile, Abdul Bashir Tawhidi, deputy and acting governor of Balkh, said the aid was a sign of friendship between the two countries.
'The friendship between the two countries (Afghanistan and Uzbekistan) is not new. This friendship goes back to the time when Afghanistan was called Khorasan. We had friendship and love with Uzbekistan,' he said.
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