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Afghanistan’s import from Iran jumps to $1.5b

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Director General of Afghanistan Customs Department Ahmad Reshad Popal on Sunday said that Afghanistan imported $1.5 billion goods from Iran.

He said this during his visit to the development project of Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar.

“Afghanistan annual exports to Iran, especially from Sistan-Baluchestan reaches to 36 million [US] dollars,” IRNA news agency quoted him as saying.

He said that Afghan officials’ visit to Iran, especially to Sistan-Baluchestan province, is facilitating investment and development of bilateral relations.

“It plays an important role to pave the way for trade cooperation.”

“My aim of the visit is to consider investment opportunities in the port and Chabahar Free Trade Zone, following up implementation of the memorandums of understanding signed between the two states to activate border markets,” the source quoted him as saying.

Director General for Ports and Maritime Organization of Sistan-Baluchestan Behroz Aqaei said that considering suitable position of Chabahar, it would be a gate for Afghanistan and Central Asian countries to the Indian Ocean.

Aqaei said that loading and unloading capacity of the port will increase soon from 2.5 million tons to 8.5 million.

Chabahar Port city located in south of Sistan-Baluchestan province and is neighboring Pakistan from East and Oman Sea from South and has 260,000 population. It located 645 kilometers south of Zahedan, capital of the province.

The visit comes after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that progress and security of Afghanistan are among the Islamic Republic’s core polices.

He said this at a meeting with Afghanistan’s National Security Advisor Haneef Atmar in Tehran on Saturday.

“Afghanistan is a friend neighbor of the Islamic Republic of Iran and progress and security of this country are regarded as Iran’s progress and security,” Iranian media quoted him as saying.

At the meeting, Atmar also said Afghanistan attaches great importance to bolstering cooperation with Iran. “All regional countries should improve close cooperation in fight against terrorism and extremism.”

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