KABUL - President Hamid Karzai and his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon on Monday signed a joint statement, expressing their readiness to further develop bilateral relations between the two neighboring countries, the Presidential Palace in Kabul said.
At the invitation of Rahmon, Karzai left for Dushanbe on a two day state visit, heading a high level delegation earlier in the day.
The Karzai office in a statement said the president and his delegation was warmly received by the Tajik leader at the Presidential Palace, where diplomats from 30 countries were present.
At their meeting, the two presidents held talks on bilateral trade and economic ties, combating security threats at joint borders and drug smuggling. They also discussed the regional security situation and other issues of common interest, the statement said.
Karzai, who thanked his Tajik counterpart for inviting him, said Afghanistan was not only a neighbour of Tajikistan, but also a close friend.
He said relations between the two countries had improved over the past decade and Kabul was committed to further improving its friendship and cooperation with Dushanbe.
Both leaders discussed issues related to implementing ambitious economic projects and providing regional security as well as bilateral political, economic and educational cooperation.
A special attention was given to implementation of the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA 100) and the regional project aimed at constructing a railway link connecting Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.
The sides also discussed preparations for construction of a railway link connecting China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Iran.
They, in particular, noted that a trilateral trade and transit pact between Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan would promote further development of commerce and trade within Central Asia.
The Tajik side underlined its readiness to continue providing assistance to Afghanistan with training of personnel for its army as well as social and economic sectors. The negotiations resulted in signing of four cooperation documents.
The sides also signed the government-to-government agreement on demining, the protocol to the government-to-government agreement between Tajikistan and Afghanistan of April 27, 2005 on crossings on the Tajik-Afghan border and the agreement between the Ministry of Finance of Tajikistan and the Ministry of Finance of Afghanistan on insurance cooperation.
Rahmon pledged Tajikistan would help Afghanistan fight terrorism and extremism.
Karzai also met with Tajik Prime Minister Oqil Oqilov and the Majlisi Namoyandagon (Tajikistan’s lower chamber of parliament) Chairman Shukurjon Zuhurov. (Pajhwok)