The 13th Meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission of the Transport Corridor Europe-the Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA) held on 6 March 2018 in Yerevan, the Republic of Armenia with the participation of the member states, observers and guest countries and organizations.
Afghanistan, as a guest country, was represented by Mr. Hassan Soroosh, Director General for Economic Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan. In his statement, Mr. Soroosh provided an overview of Afghanistan-focused regional cooperation efforts and achievements under RECCA including the signing of the Lapis Lazuli Route Agreement on the sidelines of RECCA VII in November last year in Ashgabat. He also highlighted the remarkable progress made with respect to key mega regional projects including the TAPI Gas Pipeline, CASA 1000 Electricity Transmission Line, the Five Nations Railway, the Chabahar Corridor as well as the establishment of cargo train between China and Afghanistan as part of the Belt and Road initiative and the inauguration of air cargo between Afghanistan and India.
He added that “bringing synergy between TRACECA, the Lapis Lazuli Route and other transport and transit corridors will maximize the economic opportunities associated with greater connectivity across the wider Eurasian region.
On Afghanistan’s membership in TRACECA, he expressed hope that the process of accession of Afghanistan to the Basic Multilateral Agreement would be finalized soon.