By M. Ashraf Haidari, the Director-General of Policy & Strategy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan
The recent emphasis on infrastructure development across Eurasia, underscored by China’s Belt and Road Initiative, is creating opportunities for Afghanistan to foster the kind of economic growth that can blunt the appeal of radicalism.
Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s National Unity Government aspires to restore Afghanistan’s former status as the roundabout of the Silk Road. Doing so could place the strife-torn country on a clear road toward stability.
An important economic partner for Afghanistan is Turkmenistan. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, resource-rich Turkmenistan has sometimes been a cautious trade partner. But the global downturn in energy prices is encouraging Ashgabat to explore economic avenues beyond natural gas exports.
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