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Air cargo route opens from northern Afghanistan to Europe

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Staff Writer |
Asia   Mazar-i-Sharif is one of Afghanistan's most prosperous cities

Afghanistan opened the latest in a series of air cargo trade corridors on Jan. 9 with the inauguration of a route linking the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif with Istanbul and destinations in Europe.

An initial flight, carrying five tons of dried fruit, was sent on a Turkish Airlines flight to London, following similar routes carrying dried fruit and other products to India and China, where an inaugural cargo of pine nuts was sent in November.

"The air corridor has been one of the effective programmes of the national unity government for export development," said deputy commerce and industry minister Zohoruddin Shirzada.

"Given that Afghanistan is a landlocked country, we must have alternatives," he said.

Mazar-i-Sharif is one of Afghanistan's most prosperous and economically powerful cities, already a major business hub because of its proximity to the Hairatan border crossing into Uzbekistan.

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