Ministry of Transport on Friday said officials from the five nations, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, involved in the Lapis Lazuli Corridor will meet in the near future over the problems which still exist along this corridor.
Transport Minister Hamidullah Tahmasi said problems still exist on this route and that the nations involved will come together in one of these five countries to discuss the challenges and find solutions.
The new remarks by the Afghan Ministry of Transport were expressed after the first pilot shipment of Afghan goods arrived Turkey through this corridor.
“Problems still exists and we are trying to find solutions at the next meeting between representatives of the countries involved,” said Tahmasi.
Officials from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) said Afghanistan, in order to expand its trade and transit with the world, should consider all the possible transit routes which exist in the region.
“All routes are important for our transit and trade. For the land-locked countries, there is a need to open all the routes. Every route has its own benefits,” Abdul Qadir Bahman, CEO of the ICC said.
Officials from Ministry of Industries and Commerce (MoIC) meanwhile said the ministry is prepared for transiting goods to Europe through Lapis Lazuli Corridor.
“The aim is for the goods to be transited between the nations involved and further afield,” Yahya Akhlaqi, head of transit at MoIC said.
The Lapis Lazuli Route agreement was signed in October 2017 between Afghanistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
The route begins in Afghanistan’s northern Aqina port in Faryab province and Torghandi in western Herat province and will run through to Turkmenbashi in Turkmenistan.
From there it will cross the Caspian Sea and link the Azerbaijani capital Baku to Tbilisi and Georgia’s Black Sea ports of Batumi and Poti.
It will then connect with Kars in eastern Turkey before linking to Istanbul and Europe.
The Lapis Lazuli Corridor connects Afghanistan through Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia to the Black Sea and ultimately through Turkey to the Mediterranean Sea and Europe. The Lapis Lazuli Corridor is a historic corridor. Almost 2,000 years ago, lapis lazuli stone was exported from Badakhshan in north-eastern Afghanistan through this route to Europe.