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Kabul, Tehran agree new customs pact

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Kabul and Tehran have agreed to create a transit-oriented green custom path in a bid to facilities Afghan traders to transit goods in the shortest possible time in Afghanistan via Chabahar port.

The agreement was reached during a meeting held Tuesday between Director General of Afghanistan Customs Department Ahmad Reshad Popal and the Head of Islamic Republic of Iran’s Customs Administration (IRICA) Masoud Karbasian in Tehran, Iranian MEHR news agency reported.

Chabahar port city will be turn as an exports and imports hub for Afghanistan after the implementation of the deal.

During meeting, Karbasian said “as two ancient countries, Iran and Afghanistan enjoy common cultures and languages and development of Afghanistan would mark an honor for Iran since expansions of bilateral relations will create deeper ties between the two states,” the source added.

“India-Afghanistan-Iran path marks one of the best transit corridors and the visit of Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah to Chabahar indicates its importance to the neighboring country,” he said, while urging the Afghan side to remove obstacles at Mahirud border markets.

He further went on enumerate major axes for expansion of customs ties between the two parties including provision of draft for a new customs agreement, electronic exchange of customs data as well as creation of joint border gates.

“More facilities need to be provided with further collaboration between customs of the two sides,” Reshad Popal said, adding that the meeting was to focus to create excellent trade and transit ties with the Iran.

“Existing barriers can be removed through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU),” he said, proposing the idea of adding a customs office to boost trade between Iran and Afghanistan.”

He expressed satisfaction towards available infrastructure in border areas and outlined Chabahar as the best transport corridor for his country.

It is widely believe that Chabahar Port in southeastern Iran would open a new chapter in the regional and international transit of commodities for Afghanistan.

The port would be the shortest and most economically efficient way for access to deep seas. Afghanistan is expected to have sea-land access through the strategic Chabahar port in Iran.

Access to Afghanistan’s Garland Highway can be made from Chabahar Port using the existing Iranian road network and the Zaranj-Delaram road, constructed by Indian in 2009. This would establish a direct road access to four of the major cities of the country such as Herat, Kandahar, Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif.  The port will be also used by India to ship crude oil and fertilizers, saving Indian transportation costs.

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