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Iran, Afghanistan agree to facilitate bilateral trade

Iran and Afghanistan have agreed to facilitate bilateral trade and strengthen economic ties, the latter’s interim administration run by the Taliban announced on Tuesday.

Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, who is also the acting deputy information and culture minister, said in a statement that a meeting was held between Afghan and Iranian officials “with the aim of strengthening economic ties and providing necessary facilities for trade issues between the two countries.”

As many as 16 points were agreed upon including increase in working hours to facilitate the flow of goods at the Islam Qala-e-Dogharoon border, reviewing existing tariffs on goods and services, as well as discussion on issues with fuel supply.

Last month, foreign media reported that Tehran resumed fuel exports to Afghanistan after weeks and months of political uncertainty.

While the two delegations agreed to hold talks on infrastructure issues, the statement added that Iran “will cooperate in the field of health and tourism.”

The two sides have maintained close contact in recent weeks, even though Tehran has so far stopped short of recognizing the new Taliban government, in line with the international community’s stand.

The neighboring countries have also been locked in a longstanding water dispute, which has largely prevented them from realizing the vast potential of bilateral trade ties.