Washington: Georgia can play a major role in ensuring the transit of NATO cargoes to Afghanistan, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said.
Georgia is expanding its railway network in hope that the amount of cargo traffic to Central Asia and Turkey will grow. Georgia is also upgrading runways at two major airports.
"So there is infrastructure [for a potential increase in cargo transit to Afghanistan]," Saakashvili said at the Institute of Peace in Washington yesterday.
He believes that this is a "very reliable route" that makes cargo transmit economically justified. When asked whether this issue had been raised by US
President Barack Obama during their talks in the White House on January 30, especially after Pakistan had blocked cargo transit routes to Afghanistan, Saakashvili gave no direct answer.
"I think that now people give more consideration to this route [transit through Georgia in the interests of the military coalition in Afghanistan]," the Georgian President said.
According to the US government`s official information, the transportation of cargoes through Pakistan cost USD 17 million a month.
Transportation by the so-called northern distribution network that covers the Baltic and Caspian Seas, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia, costs about USD 104 million a month.