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Azerbaijan's Aliyev Pledges Support For Afghanistan

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev says his country is ready to take part in investment and reconstruction projects in Afghanistan.

Aliyev’s office quoted him on September 5 as telling aNATO summit in Wales that the Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway link project will “create tremendous trade and economic opportunities for Afghanistan and the whole region.”

The project to directly connect Turkey, Georgia, and Azerbaijan is not expected to be completed before the second half of 2015.

Aliyev said 40 percent of non-military cargoes to Afghanistan are already being transported through Azerbaijan's territory.

He noted that Baku has contributed troops to NATO’s mission in Afghanistan, to the alliance's trust fund to support the building-up of the Afghan army, and to training programs for officials.

The president pledged continued support for Afghanistan after most foreign troops withdraw by the end of 2014.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS