Tajik Minister of Transport Azim Ibrohim on May 5 held a meeting to discuss issues related to the beginning of construction of a bridge across the Panj River that will connect the Kokul area in Khatlon’s Farkhor district and Ai-Khanoum village in Takhar province, northern Afghanistan, according to the press center of the Ministry of Transport of Tajikistan.  

Minister of Economy of Afghanistan Karima Hamed Faryabi, representatives of the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), development partners of Tajikistan and senior representatives of Tajikistan’s Khatlon Province and Afghan Takhar Province reportedly participated in the meeting through video conferencing.  

Speaking at the meeting Azim Ibrohim reminded that the Aga Khan Foundation will build this bridge with attraction of investment from partners. 

An agreement between the Ministry of Transport of Tajikistan and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) Tajikistan provides for construction of the 180-meter bridge.   The project also provides construction of a 50 kilometer road from Vase district to Farkhor district.

The European Union will finance the project through Germany’s KFW Development Bank and the Pakistan Afghanistan Tajikistan Regional Integration Program (PATRIP) Foundation, which was set up in November 2011 by the German state-owned KfW Development Bank on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office. 

To-date, six bridges across the Panj River connecting Tajikistan and Afghanistan have been built under support of the AKDN and one more Tajik-Afghan bridge has been built under financial support of the United States.  The bridges have improved commerce and traffic within Central Asia.