Ankara – The third Lapis Lazuli route transit and transportation penta-lateral technical meeting for the purpose of finalizing its agreement, hosted by Turkey, was held in Ankara.
The meeting was co-chaired by Afghanistan and Turkey with the participation of Senior Authorities, Economic, Law, Transportation, Transit, and Customs Experts from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey.
The representatives provided new recommendations for the enrichment of the agreement text, which basically constitutes the lawful framework of this route which is approximately 2800 KMs.
During this meeting, the discrepant issues were discussed on and negotiation was made in order to seek all five countries’ agreement as much as possible. The participants recommended that a last technical meeting shall be held in Baku, Azerbaijan for the purpose of finalizing and signing the agreement.
According to the preliminary studies by independent institutions, this route which historically goes back to more than 2000 years is one of the original Lapis Lazuli routes. The precious stones of Afghanistan, including Lapis Lazuli, from Badakhshan mine, were exported to Europe, Balkan, and Mediterranean countries through this route.
The Lapis Lazuli route is one of the shortest trade routes for transporting goods from countries of both sides of the route including South Asian and European countries. The goods through this route are transported 3 to 4 days earlier compared to other transit routes and the cost reduces by USD 1000 to 2000in each truck.
The Lapis Lazuli route plan is an initiative by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.