Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

Afghan eyes Iran deal to boost trade to Europe, India


KABUL, July 28 (Reuters) - Afghanista­n hopes an agreement with Iran to use one of its ports will help boost exports to Europe and India and reduce its dependence on neighbouri­ng Pakistan's ports for trade.

Iran will allow land-locked Afghanista­n to use the port to export goods like fruit and carpets to India and other countries, according to the spokesman for Afghanista­n's Ministry of Commerce and Industries.

“We want to export to central Asia and Europe, India wants to use the port to send goods to Afghanista­n,” Wahidullah Ghazikhel told Reuters.

Afghanista­n currently relies on the port of Karachi in Pakistan for the bulk of its sea exports.

But that leaves traders vulnerable to political disputes between the United States and Pakistan, which has closed its border with Afghanista­n at least twice over recent years, cutting U.S. military supplies to Afghanista­n, as well as routine trade.

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