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Afghanistan can use Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project to reach Europe – Karzai

Thursday, April 30
Afghanistan hopes that Azerbaijan will open an embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan’s ex-President Hamid Karzai said in an interview with Trend April 28.

Karzai was commenting on the cooperation prospects between the two countries.

“This would contribute to the development of relations between the two countries,” he said.

“We are almost neighbors in terms of geography. We have similarities in terms of culture and all aspects of history. Azerbaijan and Afghanistan must work together to strengthen regional security.”

"Afghanistan opened its embassy in Baku,” Karzai said. “We hope that Azerbaijan will open its embassy in Kabul. I think the opening of the embassy would strengthen cooperation between Afghanistan and Azerbaijan.”

“I consider joint actions of the two countries in international and regional issues as extremely important,” he said. “Afghanistan is also interested in expanding the trade and economic cooperation. We also welcome any investments from Azerbaijan."

While commenting on the Afghan side’s interest in participation in the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project, he stressed that this project is quite a good alternative for his country.

"In addition to the transport routes that we have today through Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, it is easier to connect Afghanistan with Europe with the help of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project,” he said. “We appreciate this project and hope that it will be also beneficial for Afghanistan. We have established good relations with Azerbaijan. We are interested in strengthening these ties."

“Azerbaijan is situated in the right place to conduct dialogue between East and West,” he said. “This is a role that we welcome.”

Commenting on the current situation in Afghanistan, he said that a new government has been formed in the country today.

“A new president has been elected,” he said. “New ministers have been appointed.”

"The Afghan people have chosen democracy,” Karzai said. “We intend to move in that direction. The country has a fairly free Press. The situation will further improve in the country."

Karzai said that one can evaluate the NATO operations conducted in Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 in two ways.

"On the one hand, NATO and partner-countries focused on assisting the Afghan people,” he said. “On the other hand, NATO and allies have not achieved their goals in the field of security."

“The security has not been ensured in Afghanistan up till now,” he said. “The country’s people are suffering. The number of terrorist attacks has increased.” (