Afghanistan and Turkmenistan inaugurate apis Lazuli railway

The presidents of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan on Monday officially opened a new railroad that will link the oil-rich former Soviet republic with Afghanistan.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and his Afghan counterpart, Ashraf Ghani, put on white work mittens at the Imamnazar station on the Turkmen side of the border on Monday to tighten the screw on a rail at the platform which was covered with expensive Turkmen carpets for the ceremony.

The new railroad will bring Turkmen goods to Afghanistan, and the first freight train has departed, carrying grain, flour and some construction materials.