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Afghan, Tajik, Turkmen Presidents Open New Railway Construction

A map of the route
ATAMYRAT, Turkmenistan -- The presidents of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan have officially inaugurated the construction of a new railway connecting the three nations.

Presidents Hamid Karzai, Emomali Rahmon and Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov took part in the ceremony in Turkmenistan's northeastern province of Lebap on June 5.

They buried a time capsule with a message to future generations under the first section of the railway line near the town of Atamyrat.

The presidents signed a memorandum of understanding in March on the construction. The railway will first connect Atamyrat with Ymamnazar in Turkmenistan.

An agreement signed by Karzai and Berdymukhammedov in May 2011 says the line will later expand to Akina-Andkhoy in Afghanistan, connecting Turkmenistan with Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

With reporting by ITAR-TASS